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CAFA Board approves regional emergency response policy

CAFA logo on doorThe Chelsea Area Fire Authority (CAFA) Board unanimously approved a new policy with the Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD) on Tuesday, June 16 that formalizes an agreement to deploy manpower and apparatus from the closest fire stations to an emergency situation.

The new policy between the neighboring fire departments is expected to go into effect on July 1 and coincide with the opening of a second CAFA fire station located on Jackson Road in Lima Township.

Dexter has two of its fire stations in close proximity to the CAFA service area — one at 8140 Main St. in downtown Dexter and a second at 12088 North Territorial Road on the Multi Lake Water and Sewer Authority property.

This agreement between the two departments is expected to optimize emergency responses to incidents regardless of whether the call is in the CAFA service area or the DAFD service area.

“This is exciting to be working with Dexter,” said Chelsea Fire Chief Jim Payeur, who said the DAFD Board is expected to vote on the draft policy on Thursday, June 18 at its meeting.

So this will mean if there’s an incident east of Dancer Road in Lima Township both a CAFA and a DAFD truck will respond. In Lyndon Township, a dual response would go to the northeastern portions of the township and in Dexter Township, both fire departments would respond to the west side of the township, Payeur said.

CAFA will continue to respond to all calls in the City of Chelsea and Sylvan Township as the closest fire stations.

“Each of us will commit one station to a response rather than two stations,” Payeur said.

Board Member Craig Maier told the board, “We are getting very, very close to finishing (the renovations to Station 2 on Jackson Road.)”

He said doors still need to be hung, appliances need to be installed and an upgrade to the gas line needs to be completed. The gas line upgrade is being paid for by the building’s owner, Maier said.

The epoxy floor is completed, the electrical is done, there’s a new well and a sign with LED lighting is in the works for the station.

The CAFA Board also approved a grant application at a total cost of about $3,458 for four security cameras to be installed at the main fire station on Middle Street.

In other news, negotiations continue between the board and the 13-member Chelsea Firefighters Local 1889. The firefighters unionized on May 20, 2014.

“Basically, we are down to one item,” said CAFA Board Member and lead board negotiator Tom Osborne. 

Contract negotiations have been ongoing since July 10, 2014, and the two sides have been in mediation. They plan to schedule another meeting as soon as possible.

The next CAFA board meeting is scheduled for July 21 at 9 a.m. in the Chelsea City Council chambers in the new Municipal Building.

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