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2022 Year in Review

SHAES Welcomes New Fulltime Firefighter/Paramedic

SHAES welcomes Firefighter/Paramedic Corey Capel to the fulltime ranks. Corey comes to SHAES from the Graafschap Fire Department. He is very familiar with South Haven having served as a SHAES Beach Intern in 2021 and 2022. Corey comes from a firefighting family. His father is Deputy Chief at Graafschap FD and his brother is a member of Saugatuck FD. Corey's first shift (on Tuesday, Dec. 20) as he immediately joined in our response to a fire in Bangor and coordinated the firefighter accountability board.

SHAES Recognized as a Patriotic Employer

Pictured, left to right: SHAES Board Member Nancy Whaley, SHAES Board Member Alan Overhiser, SHAES Executive Director Brandon Hinz, ESSGR representative Dennis Lutz, SHAES Board Chairman Ross Stein, SHAES Board Member Kate Hosier.

South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) has been recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the U.S. Department of Defense for its support of employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve Force. A current SHAES employee is deployed by the Michigan National Guard. SHAES was nominated for the recognition through the Guard and Reserve Participation Program (ESGR) by the employee. Dennis Lutz, an ESGR volunteer, recently presented the award at a SHAES Board meeting to Executive Director Brandon Hinz.

Comment from Chief Brandon Hinz “SHAES is honored to employ current and veteran members of the U.S. military. On a local level, our community supports us and provides the tools and personnel to keep us safe here at home. Our community also supports the bigger picture, keeping our nation safe, with members serving away from home. We are humbled to receive this award and thank the men and women of the U.S. military for their past and present service.”

SHAES Area Receives Improved Insurance Rating for its Area

Coverage by WHTC Radio –

Coverage by WSJM Radio –

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.

Johannah Quinn Joins Fulltime Ranks

SHAES welcomes Firefighter/Paramedic Johannah Quinn to its fulltime ranks. Johannah is no stranger to the department. She has been a paid-on-call member since 2014. Most recently she was a fulltime member of the Covert Fire Department.

Fire Prevention Month is Underway

Fire Prevention Month brings SHAES responders to schools in the South Haven area. Visit our photo gallery –

Our annual Fire Safety Fun Night was held on Thursday, Oct. 13. Enjoy photos from that event –

In the coming days we'll be wrapping up our visits to area schools. Thank you for being part of Fire Prevention Month!

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 are 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.

Beach Safety a Top Priority

The installation of life jacket loaner stations on South Haven's South and North beaches is another initiative in a on-going effort to promote water safety in our community. The stations were made possible through a grant from the Rotary Club of South Haven and the on-going support of the Bronson-Safe Kids program. See Coverage by FOX17-TV See Coverage by WOOD-TV8

Tribute to America

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

SHAES Honors Members; Amanda Quinn is 2022 Firefighter of Year

See Pictures from Annual Banquet

Navigating thru the pandemic proved especially challenging for staff at South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES), especially during the fire safety programs last fall.

The effort of one particular staff member in successfully achieving this annual initiative put into focus the department’s commitment to community.

Amanda Quinn (pictured left) has been named the 2022 SHAES Fire Fighter of the Year in a vote of members of the department. She was honored during the department’s annual banquet on April 30.

Amazingly, Quinn had been a fulltime member of the department just over seven months when she assumed responsibility for the fire safety outreach. She led the staff in successfully executing a program that respected Covid protocols at the various schools and coordinated the annual community Fire Safety Fun Night that attracted more than 500 people.

“Amanda is dedicated, compassionate and has a desire for learning,” said SHAES executive director Brandon Hinz. “Her positive attitude has been so important with all the hurdles and obstacles public service had to overcome.

Quinn joined SHAES as a fulltime firefighter/paramedic in March, 2021. She had been a paid-on-call EMT since 2019. She is also a registered nurse specializing in emergency care through Bronson Health System. She holds the bachelor of science in nursing degree from Grand Valley State University. Her husband Phillip is a paid-on-call member with SHAES.

“Amanda was actually an unofficial member of SHAES for quite some time, driving along with Phillip to incidents,” observed Hinz.

The department’s 2022 Leadership Award has been presented to Drexal “Rex” Haner. A fulltime assistant inspector, Haner was a paid-on-call member before entering the military. He is the department’s newest fulltime member. He also is responsible for the recruitment program.

“Good leadership does not require a title” said. Hinz. “Rex’s positive attitude is welcome every day.” The department honored members for years of service – James A. Quinn and Owen Ridley, 30 years; James D. Quinn, 20 years; Roseanna Fox and Brian Horan, Jr., five years.

A special recognition was given to JD Quinn and Dawn Hinz for their lifesaving actions when a patient went into full arrest while in a SHAES ambulance enroute to a Kalamazoo Hospital. The patient, Jeff Herrera, attended the banquet to express their appreciation.

Members Ron Ridley, Cody Sedlak and Amanda Quinn were recognized for the successful delivery of a newborn. “When that ‘run of the mill’ EMS or fire call turns into something more than it was originally dispatched, it is such a comfort to know that help is on the way,” said Hinz.

SHAES 2021 Annual Report is Released



See WWMT-TV Coverage

See Moody on the Market Coverage

See WSJM Report

South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) responded to a record number of calls during 2021 according to the department’s Annual Report.

Marking its 25th year, the SHAES Authority serves the city of South Haven and the townships of Casco, Geneva and South Haven from three stations. 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.

Responses increased nearly 10 percent to 2,592 compared to the previous record of 2,358 in 2020.

“Our call volume showed a significant increase in all areas,” said executive director Brandon Hinz. “Even with the continued hurdles from the pandemic, our staff remained committed to providing quality service to our residents and visitors.”

There were 1,804 calls on the medical side compared to 1,730 in 2020. Fire alarms increased from 701 to 788. SHAES has responded to more than 2,000 calls in each of the past nine years.

There were 1,100 calls in the city of South Haven followed by South Haven township 543, Geneva township 443 and Casco township 390. SHAES provided mutual aid to other fire departments and EMS agencies on 116 occasions.

Property losses from fire totaled $1,550,800 compared to $422,600 in 2020. The largest property loss occurred in South Haven township ($1,096,200) followed by Geneva township ($273,400), Casco township ($115,700) and the city of South Haven ($65,500).

SHAES continued an active inspection program which made nearly 986 contacts, including 528 short-term rental contacts during the year.

There was one civilian fire-related death in 2021. There were two incidents in which a responder was injured either at an emergency scene or other work-related occurence.

Other Highlights: Matthew Dey was honored as Firefighter of the Year… The department added five paid-on-call firefighters…The department sponsored Fire Safety Week with a full schedule of in-person activities in addition to an expanded social media messaging campaign. The department expanded its water safety awareness initiatives in cooperation with the City of South Haven and Bronson Safe Kids Coalition… Grants from community organizations and businesses made it possible for the department to acquire water rescue gear including an underwater sonar device. The department’s dive team was increased by six new members… The department received delivery of its new Rescue One vehicle and placed an order for a new ambulance… There was an increased emphasis on training with members devoting over 3,800 hours to it. Seven members became certified instructors.


public/2022_review.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/01 16:05 by tomrenner