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Tom Osborne elected new chair of CAFA Board

At its annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Tom Osborne was elected chairman of the Chelsea Area Fire Authority Board, Craig Maier as vice chairman, Kurt Koseck as treasurer and Tom Demske as board secretary.

All of the officers were unanimously elected to their posts.

The board also approved its monthly meetings for the year that will begin at 9 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Chelsea City Council chambers.

The next annual meeting will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

At its regular business meeting, which took place immediately following the annual meeting, Fire Chief Rob Arbini said that CAFA plans to have a semi-annual stuff a truck event following its first successful event in December that benefited Faith in Action.

He said a second one is expected to take place “probably in July.”

The board approved an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources for the lease of a specialized trail bike called a Rokon trailblazer, which will assist firefighters in rescue and emergency calls on the Border to Border Trail, the DTE Mountain Bike Trail, the Potawatomi Trail and the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail for five years beginning Jan. 1, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2024.

Money previously fundraised for this vehicle will be used for a trailer for the bike as well as EMS equipment for it, he said.

The board also held a discussion about the importance of having a uniform fire code for new construction in all municipalities in the CAFA service area, which includes the City of Chelsea, Lima, Lyndon and Sylvan townships.

He emphasized the importance of allowing the fire inspector to look at new construction plans from the fire perspective, which would ensure safety factors such as road widths that accommodate fire apparatus, ingress and egress, as well as locations of fire hydrants for easy accessibility.

He is suggesting the National Fire Prevention Association code.

Currently, City Engineer Christine Linfield said Chelsea operates under the 2006 International Fire Code.

Lima Township recently approved the NFPA code following a presentation by CAFA fire officials.

They plan to give a presentation to the Lyndon Township Board next month, and the Sylvan Township Board was given a presentation about NFPA by state certified Fire Lt. and Fire Inspector Eric Stanley, earlier this month.

“In my opinion, it’s our (CAFA’s) role to recommend ways to make the community safer. I think as a board we come up with a plan to present this as the best plan,” said Osborne.

The board also has a short discussion about its fee structure and billing policy for fire services.

In December, CAFA responded to 42 calls in Chelsea, 20 calls in Lima Township, 15 calls in Lyndon Township, 21 calls in Sylvan Township, three calls in Manchester, and 14 in Dexter.

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