Plainfield Fire Chief Dave Peterson

Fire fails to take hold in historic structure

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Papermill long considered a dangerous fire to fight by BETH ALTENA Plainfield Fire Chief Dave Peterson said his officers found a small fire in the Childsdale Papermill structure on Tuesday, April 10 but were successful in stopping the blaze from taking hold in the 100-year-old mill. A dozen first responder vehicles, including five pumper trucks from Plainfield, firefighter vehicles, Michigan State Police and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department quickly responded after a passerby called the township with report of smoke visible from the buildings just after 3 p.m. “They found a small fire in the downstairs and are putting it out with water,” Peterson stated. Firefighters have long considered the building a dangerous one in which to fight fire, considering its age, condition and size. BridgeWay Community Church has been in the process of raising money to purchase and renovate the mill. Brian Pankratz, lead elder for BridgeWay, said firefighters were unable to pinpoint the source of the fire. “They are not one hundred percent sure what happened,” he stated. “We are very grateful. The firefighters did a great job putting out what was there.”

Plainfield Fire Department on life-saving streak

December 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

“I am very proud of them. These are the things that keep us going some days, the fact that we do save one.” Plainfield Fire Chief Dave Peterson was commenting on the actions of his firefighters. A 9-1-1 call brought firefighters Jerry Burk and Brian Stevens to a home where a resident was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse. The unconscious subject couldn’t be defibrillated because he had to heart rate. The firemen administered “old-fashioned CPR” and by the time the subject arrived at the hospital was breathing and had a pulse. That was Tuesday, December 8. That effort happened the same day the department received a letter from a woman in the state of Washington. She wanted to thank the department and share her belief that they saved her parent’s lives. A year ago the department installed a fire detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detector in their home. The CO detector sounded an alarm in the middle of the night and it turned out their furnace was leaking the deadly gas. Peterson said a similar incident had happened at a Leisure Village home earlier this year, and an elderly couple was likely saved because of the detector. On Thursday, December 10, Plainfield Fire responded to a medical call for help and found a 39-year-old female without pulse or respiration. Again, because defibrillators work by changing the electronic waves of the heart, one could not be used because the heart was not beating. The firefighters began CPR and the patient responded and is now doing fine. “This was the second save in two days for this shift,” Peterson said. If it has been a controversial year for the department, it has also been one of such milestone events. Earlier the department announced that Peterson had earned a recognition that very few fire chiefs ever receive. Peterson was nominated for, and received, the international professional designation of “Chief Fire Officer.” Peterson was voted to receive this honor by the Commission on Professional Credentialing. The designation makes Chief Peterson one of only 616 Chief Fire Officers worldwide. “This is very prestigious,” said Rebecca VerBeek, administrative assistant to the chief. The process includes an assessment of the applicant’s education, experience, professional development, technical competencies, contributions to the […]