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Firefighters to gear up with additional millage

August 22, 2012 - Independence Township voters overwhelmingly approved renewal of the current fire and EMS millage, 3.1688 mills – with 5,864 voting "yes," 78.81 percent, and 1,577 "no" votes, 21.19 percent,

The second ballot question in the Aug. 7 primary, asking for 0.59 mills more for additional fire and emergency services, was closer – 3,708 voted "yes," 51.67 percent, while 3,469 selected "no," 48.33 percent.

"It could have easily been voted down – if the vote had been 'no,' that would have been fine, we would have done the best we could with the money we have," said Don Herbert, paramedic and engineer, Independence Township Fire Department. "We're happy with the results. We're very appreciative of the support the community has given us."

The additional revenue will fund a third firefighter paramedic, partially restore fire inspection and prevention division with one full-time employee, and provide funds for replacement of equipment, trucks, and capital improvements to buildings and grounds.

The new paramedics will all have advanced life support training, Herbert said.

"About 95 percent of calls are medical based, injuries at accident, falls, that sort of thing," he said. "It's very important that we maintain a high level of care."

– Phil Custodio

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