By Henrik Blix
Mason Times staff writer
MASON—Chief Kerry Minshall presented the Mason Fire Department’s annual report at Monday’s city council meeting. The report documented every fire incident as well as improvements in response time and membership.
Minshall said the report helps the fire department reflect on the past year and focus on the future.
“We’re always learning and always looking for that continuous improvement,” Minshall said.
According to the report, the fire department responded to 174 incidents in 2012. The report included incidents that occurred in Mason, Vevay Township, Aurelius Township and any incidents that required mutual aid from Mason and other departments.
The report also said there were fewer calls to Mason, but an overall increase in incidents because of increases in Vevay Township and Aurelius Township.
At the city council meeting, Minshall said the fire department decreased the average response time to calls in Mason. According to the report, the average response time from dispatch to the scene was 3.7 minutes. This was for emergency and non-emergency calls.
“The job they’re doing is outstanding,” said Martin Colburn, Mason city administrator. “I’ve worked with these guys for over 13 years and they’re good.”
Colburn said the report is comprehensive and not only provides data that covers the mission and activities of the fire department, but also indicates how much work goes into preparation and training.
Colburn said this data keeps the city council aware of what it takes for the fire department to do its job, which is important in developing the city budget.
“The council is paying attention to all aspects of the report, especially relating to the budget,” said Deborah Cwiertniewicz, city clerk.
Cwiertniewicz said the most important thing the city council gains from the report is an understanding of the department’s needs and what adjustments need to be made to the budget.
Cwiertniewicz said she is impressed by the thoroughness of the report and the professional nature of the fire department.
“I think they’re outstanding as far as response and caring,” Cwiertniewicz said. “I feel very comfortable as a resident that if they were called to my house they’d be there in two to three minutes.”
Minshall said he is pleased with the fire department’s performance and is especially pleased that the fire department’s membership and retention are at an all-time high.
“It never ceases to amaze me, I’m one of the few employers where all the people want to come to work for nothing,” Minshall said. “All my employees want to come to work, so I’m real fortunate that I have that work force.”