Lack of firefighters give way to citizen concern in Jackson

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Terry Lynn May of Jackson is wondering how the City of Jackson can manage with 14 firefighters, “it’s scary and infuriating. How can we make not make this a number one priority?”

Earlier this year, the Jackson Fire Department experienced a dearth of firefighters after money ran out of the safer grant.

Now, some community members are wondering if the city is well protected from any sort of fire. 

Safer grants provided funding to the fire department through FEMA to provide the staffing for those 11 positions that had to be trimmed.

Once that money ran out, according to Jackson City Manager Patrick Burtch, the safer positions within the fire department were cut.

To regain those positions, the city reapplies for the grant.

“Jackson has paid all this money for training, fire equipment which is awesome. Do we have the staff? Is that a waste? What is going to happen to all of that equipment? We don’t have enough people to use it,” said May.

City of Jackson Public Information Officer Will Forgrave said, “people have every right to be concerned that we have less firefighters than we did. But, I do want it to be understood that at the same time that we’re doing a hell of a job with the firefighters we have now in the situation we have now.”

Burtch said they are in the process of re-applying for another grant.

He is asking for 9 additional positions that would go in hand with the safer grant.

Right now, the grant is in the hands of FEMA.



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