WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Making good on a promise made last fall, Wyoming officials have reopened the Gezon Parkway Fire Station.
A full-time American Medical Response ambulance crew will operate out of the station on Gezon Parkway near Byron Center Avenue. Part-time Wyoming firefighters will respond to fire calls.
The station has been a prime example of Wyoming’s budget problems. Built in 1994, it closed in the mid-2000s after voters turned down a millage to staff it.
After years of debate about staffing, officials decided to reopen the firehouse with mostly part-timers and outside help for the bulk of the station’s calls, which are medical emergencies. While it’s located in the fast-growing area around Metro Health Hospital, it is not the busiest area of the city when it comes to fire calls, so the decision was made to use part-timers.
“It’s important that we at least have this equipment here and be able to respond,” Wyoming Public Safety Director James Carmody said.
One lieutenant is assigned to the house, with part-time firefighters responding from their homes and businesses, and fire fighting-trained Wyoming public works employees filling in the gaps.
Carmody says the department is monitoring call volume, and could move full-time crews into the station during peak call hours in the future.
DPS will unveil the reopened station to the public Saturday during a public safety expo. It’s a chance for the taxpaying public to see how their money’s being spent, as well as a recruitment effort.
“For those people that are interested, that might be interested in being a paid, on-call firefighter, it’s an opportunity to put in application in and go from there,” Carmody said. “You always need full-time fire fighters. There’s no doubt about that. We need that expertise. We need that skill. But they also need the support.”
The expo is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.