On May 18, 2019, Lt. Michael McLeieer from the Olivet Fire Department in Eaton County was elected President of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association (MSFA) at the 144th Annual Conference held in Frankenmuth. He also is the Program Coordinator of the WOTV Operation Save A Life program.
McLeieer will be providing guidance and vision as he and the MSFA Executive Board implement strategies to provide the tools for firefighters and fire departments throughout Michigan to keep their communities safe, healthy, prepared and resilient.
“Michigan continues to be a leading state in the country for civilian fire deaths in the home. There is also a shortage of firefighter candidates in many communities throughout the state. The recruitment and retention of qualified firefighters is essential to maintaining a safe and healthy community. That’s why the MSFA has partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council by supporting its national initiative called Make Me A Firefighter,” said McLeieer.
“One key to retention has been utilizing new volunteers on proactive projects such as installing new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in owner occupied homes, providing “hands-only” CPR education in the schools, and teaching the public ways to identify and reduce risky actions which may result in injury or even death,” according to McLeieer.
Approximately 70 percent of fire departments are served by paid-on-call or volunteer firefighters, and roughly 30 percent are served by paid career firefighters. So when seven out of every ten firefighters or emergency responders are volunteers, fire departments have to make sure that those interested in their local communities understand they can make a difference and a positive impact. McLeieer has been told the hardest thing for the local fire department is just getting the word out and let people know that the department is seeking volunteers.