Comstock Twp. offers permanent job to acting fire chief

Comstock Township Fire Department, Acting Fire Chief Matt Beauchamp
Matt Beauchamp, the fire chief for the Comstock Township Department of Fire & Rescue. (Undated courtesy photo)

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Comstock Township Department of Fire & Rescue has a better idea who will lead it after a surprise vote at Monday’s meeting of the township board.

Assistant Chief Matt Beauchamp has served as acting fire chief since Chief Ed Switalski was killed while responding to an accident on I-94 in June.

On Monday, the township board members thought they were going to start discussions on how to replace Switalski when Treasurer Bret Padgett made a motion to accept the township superintendent’s recommendation and offer the job to Beauchamp.

Comstock Township Board
The Sept. 18, 2017 meeting of the Comstock Township Board.

While everyone on the board supports promoting Beauchamp, some wanted to take their time.

“Right now, the department doesn’t necessarily need to adapt to another major change,” trustee David Camburn said. “So I’m not opposed to consider Matt in the future, but maybe this is not yet the time to make that appointment.”

Others disagreed, saying the fire department needs to move forward.

“I’ve had several firefighters come to me in the time that I’ve been at the department for various events and functions and just state that they’re kind of just hanging in limbo and they would like to have some kind of direction,” Clerk Michelle Mohney said.

The motion passed 5-0 with two members abstaining. The township superintendent will enter into negotiations with Beauchamp. The Township Board will have to vote on final approval after those details are hammered out.