WALLED LAKE, Mich. – The Walled Lake Fire Department has only four full-time firefighters and a new proposal could cut the department even more.
The city wants to take full-timers and make them a paid, on-call department. First responders say the new system could affect response times.
Shirley Knapp can't believe they would consider affecting first responders' response time. Many of her neighbors are elderly.
"What are they going to do? We have a lot of older people here. We've had four on this street die already, and they're always right there when you need them," Knapp said.
The department has 15 part-time on-call firefighters who are available to meet full-timers on a call. Knapp says to make all of them part-time is dangerous.
"Don't put them on part-time. You know, if they're on part-time and somebody got sick, who is going to be there? Seriously," she said.
Tim Lynch lives and owns a business in Walled Lake. He is willing to pay more to keep his family safe.
"If it means that we have to run a millage and perhaps come together as a community in order to keep these essential services in place, then that's imperative," Lynch said.