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Breitung signs mutual aid response agreement

QUINNESEC — The Breitung Township Board has passed a resolution to join an interstate mutual aid agreement to better coordinate fire department response.

The Michigan Mutual Aid Box Alarm System provides mutual aid in fire protection, suppression, rescue and emergency medical assistance, hazardous materials control and other support for emergencies, disasters or other threats to public safety.

Michigan partners with Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and other Midwest states to provide such services to the region.

The board unanimously voted to join MABAS after a discussion with Executive Director Trent Atkins, who referenced a recent fire at a chemical plant in Rockton, Ill., as an example of interstate coordination.

“There were over 50 departments that responded to that fire and 30 of them came from Wisconsin,” Atkins said.

There is no cost to join MABAS, as well as no requirement to deliver aid beyond what the township would be able to provide, Atkins explained.

The only “downside” to MABAS would be if a local division did not plan for large events, educate first responders or follow procedure, Atkins said.

“Those are the things that tend to create problems,” Atkins said, adding MABAS recommended divisions test the system every quarter and learn the communication process to understand how to effectively use the resource.

Breitung Township joins Iron Mountain and Norway in the agreement, whose departments became members in May. Departments in Florence and Marinette County have operated under an MABAS agreement in Wisconsin since 2015.

In other business June 14, the board:

— Agreed the township would supply a fire number sign and galvanized post for new homes and offer a secondary sign at the homeowner’s expense. The township will also replace fire signs that have experienced normal wear and tear, though any sign damaged or destroyed in some other fashion would need to be replaced at the homeowner’s expense. Replacement signs are $40, replacement posts are $12.

— Donated $500 to the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 50 for their Fourth of July fireworks event.

— Approved mileage and meals for Township Superintendent Steve Mulka to attend a meeting on broadband infrastructure in the U.P. held by the Atlantic Engineering Group at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

— Supported township staff’s exploration of options for the purchase of a public address system to be used for community events. Staff will meet with a township resident who offered to make a donation towards the purchase.

— Tabled a motion on the sale of land in the township’s industrial park to allow board members to review details of the proposal.

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