Adjutant General meets with Grayling municipal leaders

Contact: Angela Simpson 517-481-7734
Agency: Military and Veterans Affairs

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LANSING, Mich., Nov. 13, 2018 – Michigan National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Greg Vadnais and Camp Grayling Commander, Col. Ed Hallenbeck, will meet with Grayling municipal leaders today to discuss the future of aircraft and structural fire protection at Camp Grayling.

Recently, the contract between the Michigan Guard and the City of Grayling Fire Department to provide eight hours per day of aircraft and structural fire protection expired, leaving the city short a revenue stream and the Guard short on fire protection. 

“The previous contract had some issues,” Vadnais said. “I’m hoping we can come together with open minds and talk about options for improving the agreement and maintaining our great relationship. We appreciate the services the Grayling Fire Department provides, but we need them in a different way than we have in the past.” 

According to Hallenbeck, “The relationship started about 14 years ago with approximately $40,000 per year designated to the Grayling Fire Department in an effort to reduce risk for Soldiers and military assets.  Over the years however, the financial designation has morphed into an unsustainable $450,000 per year cost that still does not meet safety requirements.  For example, for every 24 hours there is only one 8-hour period when the fire department is on duty. During the remaining 16-hour period the fire department is in a volunteer status.  A more effective coverage plan driven by the comprehensive Paradigm Design Fire Study, would be 24 hour fire coverage during a peak period in the summer when risk for fire is highest. Also, the current relationship does not address other municipal fire departments' support to Camp Grayling that are currently uncompensated.”  

Arrangements for aircraft and structural fire support to National Guard installations across the U.S. varies. Some installations have their own fire department, others contract out fire services, and still others rely on local fire squads that possess adequate personnel, skills and equipment. Most use a blend of approaches, which may also work for Camp Grayling.

“We’ve been working on a new statement of work in which the Michigan National Guard can contract with the Fire Departments of the Grayling area to provide a fiscally sustainable fire protection that is mutually beneficial for Camp Grayling, Crawford County, the City of Grayling and the surrounding townships,” Hallenbeck said.

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