Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Hamlin Township Fire Department (HTFD) is continuously upgrading its services to the community. With the millage funds granted to them earlier this year by the voters, the Township has made two significant purchases that will help them to save lives.
According to the American Heart Association, effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. To increase those odds, a Stryker Lucas 3 Chest Compression System was purchased. This device will perform CPR on a cardiac arrest victim with benefits to both the victim and the person aiding them.
It actually provides better CPR than a human can, according to Deputy Chief Francis D’Huyvetter, and increases their patient’s chances of survival.
“It doesn’t get tired,” he explained, “and provides consistent compressions.” It can be programmed to provide a certain number of compressions and then stop for the patient to receive other assistance. It also allows the victim to be continuously worked on while loading them into the ambulance.
The device is battery-powered, has WIFI, and can be taken into the field when needed to provide assistance. It will fit on an average to large size person and stays on as the person is loaded into the ambulance, which allows chest compressions to continue. It also is beneficial in situations where manpower is limited.
According to an American Heart Association study, “Mechanical chest compression is currently suggested to deliver high-quality chest compression in a moving ambulance.”
“We were pleased with the positive support from the community in the last millage vote. We had 81% of the voters entrust us to make the best purchases to benefit the area, and we see this purchase as being on the leading edge in providing effective care for the community,” D’Huyvetter said.
A second purchase, a Zodiac Milpro boat, joins the rescue equipment in Hamlin Township. With the increasing popularity of recreation on the Grand River, in ponds, and in the Smithville Dam area, there has been an increase in water mishaps. In the past, the HTFD would need to contact other agencies for help in water rescues and recoveries, which uses up valuable time.
The inflatable boat is powered by a 25hp Yamaha engine and can hold up to six people. The inflation chambers are separate and allow the boat to still float if one is punctured. The boat can slide on the ice for winter rescues, also.
D’Huyvetter feels that the inflatable will complement the hard boat that the City of Eaton Rapids Fire Department has, with each type of boat having their special uses. They also expect that the new boat will be sent to other departments around the state for assistance in major flooding events and other water emergencies as requested.
HTFD is also acquiring a collapsible 50-foot extension pole for victim rescue.
“We hope we don’t have to use it, but we are ready if we do,” D’Huyvetter said.
There are 21 volunteer firefighters on call at Hamlin Township and they make about 200 calls per year. The Hamlin Township Fire Rescue Chief is Scott Blackmer.
The annual Hamlin Township Fire Department Open House and Health Fair will not be held this year due to the Covid-19 situation.
For more information about Hamlin Township Fire Department, visit their Facebook page Hamlinfirerescue or their website: