Meridian Township hires new first responders as the number of calls increases 

Print More

In January, Meridian Township Fire Chief, Chris Hamel, introduced the department’s newest member to the fire department. This greeting comes after the township launched an EMS recruitment program to hire and retain firefighter paramedics. 

Fire chief Chris Hamel shared, “As of January 1st, we [Meridian Fire Department] increased our staffing from 34 to 36 employees in our operations division; it’s based on an increase in call volume over the last six to eight years. Our demand has gone up so much.” 

According to the department’s website, the Meridian Township Fire Department (MTFD) is the second most active department in Ingham County, attending to an average of 5,000 emergencies yearly. Over the period since 2010, there has been a 10% rise in the number of calls received by the Meridian Township Fire Department.

Joshua Hengesbach, from Grand Ledge, MI, was welcomed by the Meridian Township committee board and the community. Accompanied by his wife and their young child, he was hired as an EMT with the stipulation that he would take the necessary courses to progress to a paramedic.

“Required courses, such as Firefighter 1 & 2, consist of a 350-hour class. Classes can be completed at Lansing Community College or the Ingham County Fire Academy,” Chief Hamel said. “Training to become a paramedic takes approximately 1,025 hours, and after clinicals, this could extend to upwards of 16 months.”

The trainees are required to take the National Registry Test. This exam consists of written and practical exams. Upon success of the test, the individual will be certified as a state licensed paramedic. 

In Meridian Township, all firefighters hold the highest level of EMT certification as paramedics. The initiation of paramedic service in 1980 marked the beginning of this standard, and presently, all personnel involved in fire suppression are mandated to be licensed paramedics.

Jessica Hengesbach, Joshua’s wife explained the transition for their family is going to be a change. “We’ve been married for almost two years so I kind of have the gist of it [the job], I also have siblings in the field.” Jessica shared.

 Joshua had his National Registry Test to be completed on Feb. 26. 

Comments are closed.