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Bad Axe, other communities receive part of $5 million first responder grant

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By this fall, firefighters in Bad Axe will have a tower they can use to simulate real situations in training. The building is possible thanks to more than $100 thousand awarded to them from a state grant.

In a May 20 press release, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the $5 million First Responder Training and Grant Program. The money is split between 64 Michigan communities.

John Hunt is the Bad Axe Area Fire Chief. He said all his firefighters are volunteers, making it hard to find available people during the work week. He said the tower could help train—and in turn— recruit more people.

“If we have really good training, it may inspire more people to become involved, because (the tower) is a practical side where you can exercise your skills,” Hunt said. “That’s difficult to do without props and such.”

Hunt said the grant is a good investment for Michigan that will help his department’s training for years to come. He said he’s glad to see Michigan spending its money this way.

“Oh, it made me very happy,” Hunt said. “To me, it’s a good investment by the state—if they’re going to spend the money anyway. It’s not a one-time, ‘boom we went to a class. It’s over. That money’s gone.’ This is something that’ll be here for years and years to come.”

Police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and government corrections officers were able to apply for the grant money.

Below is a list of the grant recipients and how much they were awarded:

Patrick Bouman is originally from Whitehall, Michigan. He is a senior at Central Michigan University, where he studies Journalism. He will be interning for WCMU and the Traverse City Record Eagle this summer.