From Chief Chad Tackett
The Otsego Fire Department and Rescue serves the City of Otsego and Otsego Township, as well as other neighboring communities by mutual aid agreement. Last year, the department responded to 115 fire calls and 321 calls for the rescue unit which includes medical emergencies, vehicle extrication, confined space rescue, ice rescue and high angle/rope rescue. The department is proud of its ability to respond and meet the challenges of providing emergency services to the Otsego area.
We are grateful for the local community support which makes it possible for us to obtain and maintain modern equipment and apparatus. In 1993, voters of the two communities approved a six year one mill levy to purchase a new aerial and pumper truck costing $690,000. These trucks are state of the art, and Otsego is fortunate to have the only aerial ladder platform truck in Allegan County. The department also operates the only heavy rescue unit in the area. The quality of the equipment, level of departmental training and availability of a municipal water source allows the department to give something back to the community in the form of lowered fire insurance. The current fire insurance rating for the City of Otsego is 6, which is very good for our size of community.
Our department is comprised of 30 members who are paid for each call to which they are able to respond. Members of the department are required to attend training sessions twice a month. In addition, a department business meeting is held during the first Tuesday night of each month. Individuals interested in becoming a member of this organization should contact City Hall. Members are hired after a lengthy interview process involving interviews, physical agility tests and a thorough physical examination by the local occupational medicine clinic at Borgess-Pipp Health Center.
The department is assisted by the Otsego Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary. The auxiliary provides logistical support to the firefighters during times of emergency. This involves operating communications, providing food and other duties that will assist the department during the times of crisis. The auxiliary is also very active in the numerous charity activities of the department as well.
The Otsego Fire Department and Rescue participates in numerous charitable activities throughout the year. We sponsor a local Boy Scouts of America Troop, participate is food drives, raise donated funds to purchase additional equipment, and annually hold a Halloween candy check at the fire hall. We also provides tours of the fire hall and fire safety programs to children. Most anyone who has attended Otsego Public Schools remembers their first ride in a fire truck at the conclusion of the fire safety program. Each year this program is provided to hundreds of school and pre-school children to help educate them about the dangers of fire. If you are interested in scheduling one of these programs, please call 694-4390.