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South Haven Area Emergency Services

The Mission of SHAES
The Mission of the South Haven (Michigan) Area Emergency Services (SHAES) is to preserve life, limb and property through aggressive fire prevention, education and fire suppression. To provide the highest quality of emergency medical care with skill and compassion. To serve our communities with pride, integrity and courage.


SHAES News Updates

SHAES Area Receives Improved Insurance Rating for its Area

South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) is proud to report that the Insurance Service Office (ISO) has upgraded its fire protection rating for the area served by the department effective March 1, 2023.

ISO, through its Public Protection Classification Program (PPC), issues ratings to fire departments throughout the country based on the effectiveness of their protection services.

The ISO rating is a numerical grading system and is one of the primary elements used by the insurance industry to develop premium rates for residential and commercial businesses. It analyzes data using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 (the best) to 10.

ISO has rated the area protected by SHAES a Class 3/5. The previous rating established in 2016 was 4/6. In 2004 it was 5/6.

“This program provides an objective, countrywide standard that assists fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training,” said Brandon Hinz, SHAES Executive Director.

“By securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services.

“With the support of the communities we serve, the SHAES Authority Board has been able to increase staffing levels, expand our inspection program and broaden department training. These actions not only lower the risk rating for our communities, but also help SHAES to continue providing professional, comprehensive Fire, EMS and Rescue services for Casco Township, Geneva Township, City of South Haven and South Haven Township.”

SHAES marked its 25th year in 2021. The department is comprised of 16 fulltime staff and 25 paid-on-call firefighters protecting 97 square miles of land and several miles of Lake Michigan shoreline from three stations. In 2021 the department responded to a record 2,592 fire, emergency and medical calls. The department is on pace this year to set a new response record.

Many communities like South Haven receive a split classification based on the distance of properties from a fire station and fire hydrants.

The ISO rating typically appears on a property owner’s insurance bill. Property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance carrier should this change not be reflected on a future bill.

The following is the criteria for each category: Class 3 - Applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. (This includes all of the City of South Haven, parts of South Haven Township, Geneva Township and Casco Township.)

Class 5 - Applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. (This includes most of South Haven Township, Geneva Township and Casco Township.

A few properties within the SHAES District in Geneva Township and South Haven Township are a Class 10 because they are beyond five road miles of a fire station.

Shawn Smith Promoted to Training Officer

SHAES is proud to announce the promotion of Shawn Smith to the newly created position of Training Officer. Shawn has been a SHAES firefighter/paramedic since 2010, first in a paid-on-call capacity and for 12 years as a career member. He has been actively engaged in training, notably as the department's Medical Control Liaison.

“We are excited about this position and the benefits Shawn will bring to our department and the community,” according to Executive Director Brandon Hinz.

Shawn will be in charge of coordinating training for all aspects of the department, maintaining EMS and Fire records for SHAES personnel, ensuring compliance with State of Michigan regulations, facilitate continuing education for members and onboarding new career and paid-on-call personnel.

South Haven Firefighters Memorialized for Service

Five now deceased South Haven firefighters who served the community a combined 118 years were honored on Sept. 17 when their names were added to the Memorial Wall of the Michigan State Firemen's Association in Roscommon.

Every year on the third Saturday in September, firefighters from across the state and their families gather to remember the brave men and women of the Michigan Fire Service. The centerpiece of the site is a 12-foot bronze firefighter statue depicting a firefighter carrying a child to safety. A memorial wall allows firefighters to be remembered for their years of service.

The local firefighters being honored, their years of service and the departments they served are Edward W. Bierhalter, 22 years, South Haven Fire Department (SHFD); David L. Henry, 36 years, SHFD and South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES); Thomas E. Leva, 25 years, SHFD and SHAES; Jack C. McCloughan, 16 years, SHFD; and Patricia A. Quinn, 19 years, Covert Fire Dept. and SHAES.

“Service to our community has always been of utmost importance for our members, past anbd present,” said SHAES Executive Director Brandon Hinz. “I was privileged to know all of the members added to The Wall this year, extremely privileged to serve with some. All of those years of service represent many sleepless nights, early mornings, missed dinners, missed holidays. Honoring these members is a small token of our appreciation for their service.”


An Unusual Find

The SHAES Dive Team conducts drills on a regular basis. On Saturday, Aug. 27, the team was invited to dive at Lake Arvesta for a training opportunity utilizing motor skills to search in a zero-visibility environment. The challenge was to find objects lost by park visitors off the giant water slide. The results were amazing. The divers recovered 142 pairs of sunglasses/prescription glasses, 11 Apple watches, two Fitbits, three wrenches, five pairs of goggles and a few other assorted items that included a wallet with an Indiana driver's license and two credit cards. All items were turned over to Lake Arvesta and will be matched to the list they have of reported lost items. Those individuals will be contacted and they're lost items will be returned to them.


Salute to Veterans

SHAES joined in raising the flag in a salute to veterans and first responders on Saturday, Aug. 20. This annual tribute is sponsored by the South Haven Steelheaders.


Community Recognition

We are grateful to Bobby Walker for his presentation of an Outstanding Leadership Award to SHAES during the annual picnic at Elkenburg Park on August 12. Bobby is pictured with SHAES members Tim Forker, Amanda Quinn and Paul Quinn. Several organizations, city departments and individuals were recognized for their “excellence in serving our community”. Mayor Scott Smith in turn praised Bobby for fostering a positive environment between the community and its public servants.

Tribute to America

The SHAES Honor Guard continued a century-long tradition of leading South Haven's Fourth of July parade.

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