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No mutual aid for two MI departments: ‘We don’t work well with each other’

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Some controversy surrounding a November 28 house fire in Potterville, Michigan that left all five occupants of the home injured. The home belonged to a member of the Potterville Fire Department who helped get his family to safety. But Beth LeBlanc of Lansing State Journal reports that, despite the working fire with multiple injuries, the Potterville Fire Department waited almost a half-hour to call for the second closest fire company, Benton Township, less than a mile away. Twenty-one minutes earlier help was called from two other departments, in Charlotte and Windsor Townships, that are five or more miles from the scene.

When questioned about the delay, Potterville officials gave a variety of answers but ultimately admitted the two departments don’t work well together.

Beth LeBlanc, Lansing State Journal:

Potterville City Manager Wanda Darrow said Charlotte and Windsor Township firefighters were called for aid because both are full-time departments.

Darrow, who is also a Potterville firefighter and was on scene the night of the Cottage Street fire, said no mistakes were made that night.

“We didn’t need them,” Darrow said, of Benton Township’s fire department. “That’s why they weren’t called.”

(Potterville Fire Chief Ryan) Lundquist echoed Darrow’s reasons as to why Benton Township was not called to the scene earlier and added another:

“We don’t work well with each other,” he said.

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