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BTFD seeks names of past firefighters

Bouquets and Barbs

Bouquet: We are in need of help from our community. Below is a letter to the township board from Jim Rose, a BTFD firefighter. He has undertaken the task of trying to make sure our BTFD firefighters are honored at the Michigan State Firefighter’s Memorial in Roscommon.

Upon reading his letter, you will see a resolution was made about honoring five past deceased members per year. You will also see which five will be honored and have their names placed on the memorial in September.

What we need from our community is names of those who have served on BTFD, how many years and if they are alive or deceased — basically as much info as possible. Mr. Rose has 250 names to date, 30 of which he can verify served over 10 years. A third are deceased.

As stated in the letter, this includes the three individual departments before they combined to one BTFD: Quinnesec Volunteer, East Kingsford Volunteer and North Breitung Volunteer.

So all you family history buffs, message us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BreitungTwpFireDept/ with the information you have and we will forward to Mr. Rose.

Thank you for helping us! And a huge thank you to Jim Rose for taking this on.

The Jim Rose letter to the township board May 19:

Several years ago, the Breitung Township Board approved a resolution to place the names of eligible firefighters that have served the township as members of the Breitung Township Fire Department on the wall at the Michigan State Firefighter’s Memorial. The resolution will limit the number of names that can be placed on the memorial to no more that five in any one year. To be eligible, firefighters must either have been an active firefighter at the time of their death or have served a minimum of 10 years as a firefighter in Michigan. The cost is $100 per name.

If a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the firefighter’s name is place on the base of the statue and there is no charge. Note, currently Breitung Township has one firefighter that has been so honored, James Olson.

Priority for identifying the names to be submitted each year was identified at the time the resolution was approved.

First Priority — Any active firefighter that has passed away since the previous submission.

Second Priority — Any living retired firefighter that passed away since the previous submission.*

Third Priority — Chose from firefighters that had passed away prior to the start of this program.*

*Must meet the 10-year service requirement.

I have been working on getting some information on previous members of the BTFD and length of service on the Department. This has been time consuming and with the events over the last year-and-a-half been made more difficult. I do want to point out that this will be done as the BTFD but does include the former Quinnesec VFD, East Kingsford VFD and the North Breitung VFD.

Some of the information I have compiled on previous members include names and stations that the firefighters served at. At present I have accumulated approximately 250 names.

The second is attempting to document the years of service for each of the firefighters. This has been much more challenging. Again, the current events have hampered my efforts somewhat and am hopeful I will be able to make some more progress soon. So far I have identified approximately 30 individuals that have served for at least 10 years and are no longer active on the department, about one-third of which may be deceased.

The names being submitted for placement on the Memorial Wall on Sept. 18, 2021, are: Frank Stout, Joseph Brin, Albert “Pooch” Grailer, Jon “Jack” Nord and Herman “Buck” Munday.

Looking forward, I will be working on finding additional data on previous firefighters, determining eligibility, and documenting the date of death for those that are deceased. We will also need to spread the word about this program which will involve the community and prove addition information on those that did serve and also notification when a past firefighter dies.

I also would like to say that even with the restrictions lately I have had the honor and privilege to speak with several of the “old” firefighters and/or their families.

Respectfully submitted, Jim Rose

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