BY JESSE LEMOND
Clarkston News Student Writer
The Springfield Township Fire Department’s new one-mill millage, approved by voters Aug. 2, will improve their services to the community, said Chief David Feichtner.
“One thing the millage is going to do, is allow us to have somebody here at the station at night and on weekends,” Feichtner said. “Last August, we started a pilot study and had one person staffing the station at night and part time on the weekend to see if it would help response time and get apparatus to the scene faster, and we found that was indeed true.”
The millage fund will also go to the replacement of equipment and fire trucks.
“You know that at some point you’re going to have to replace things, you figure out what all those things are, their life expectancy, and how much you’re going to put away every year in order to replace them. We priced everything out and the money will go to that as well,” he said.
The millage will also fund reconstruction of fire station one on Broadway in Davisburg, and construction of a new station three on property the township owns on Andersonville Road.
“We are now focusing on the new station one. We’ve done topographical surveys – we’re hoping construction on the new station one will start in the spring,” Feichtner said.
The department is still deciding the plan for building station three, he said.
“The millage doesn’t technically start until the first of the year. We’re looking at either waiting for that fund to build up, or we may borrow. Hopefully all that starts next year,” the chief said.
Feichtner has been fire chief since 2014. He was previously director of operations for clinical services at MedStar Ambulance Services in Clinton Township, and prior to that served 20 years as a staff lieutenant with the Farmington Hills Fire Department.
As chief, Feichtner aims to work on training, recruiting, and professional development.
“I actively participate in recruit training,” he said. “I enjoy passing along the things that I learn to other people, knowing that at some point, the people are ready to come up and do the job.”
He enjoys giving back to the community and providing service to others.
“Those sorts of values I got from my upbringing translates perfectly into this field,” he said. “I’ve always thought that when bad things happen to good people, other people need to be there to help them out in their times of crisis and I continue to be humbled enough for them to call on us in their time of need.”
Outside of work, Feichtner enjoys hunting and fishing with his family, as well as gardening and tending his chickens.
The Springfield Township Fire Department, which was established in 1947, is part full time and part pay-on-call.
Firefighters are equipped for a variety of emergencies, and trained for fire and medical response as well as specialized responses such as ice rescue, hazardous materials, and technical rescue. Equipment includes ambulances, brush-fire trucks, fire engines, tankers, two cars for transport and basic life support, rescue truck, and a command vehicle, stationed at two locations.
“We’re on course to reach a thousand runs this year with an average of around three each day,” Feichtner said.
Most of the runs are medical calls.
“The fire service nation wide have found medical runs comprise anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of our calls – the other 20 or 30 percent being car accidents or structure fires,” he said.
The chief appreciates everyone who works with him to keep the community safe.
“The men and women here are amazingly dedicated to the fire department and the mission of the fire department and helping other people,” he said. “I work with great people at the fire department and at the township – I just happen to be the one lucky enough to be the head of the organization. It’s nice that everybody works so well together and is so integrated.”
BY JESSE LEMOND