Public safety director responds to ‘inaccurate’ social media post regarding recent fire department response to open burn call


Published by the Huron Hub on Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Editor’s note: Below is an unedited message to the community from Everette Robbins, director of public safety in Huron Township:

Last night it was brought to my attention that a local social media post contained speculation and accusations regarding an appropriate response, or lack thereof, to a fire call received into our dispatch center on Sunday July 14th, 2019 at approximately 4:34p.m. While I do not feel that it is necessary to respond to every inaccurate post made on social media, I think in this case it is important to present true and accurate facts. Unfortunately, the inaccurate and false information posted unfairly presents a negative perception to the community about the great work the men and women of our fire department do to keep us safe.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

The Huron Township Dispatch Operations Center received a 911 call at 4:34p.m. regarding an “OPEN BURN.” The caller reported seeing smoke but was confused as to where exactly he was. The caller reported initially that he was in the 22500 block of West Road. After questioning by our dispatch operator, he then believed that he was near the cross street of Judd Road, which then led us to believe he was actually in the area of the 22500 block of Waltz Road. Only ONE call was received.

Two scheduled on-duty Huron Township Fire Personnel were dispatched to the 22500 block of Waltz and were on the scene within four minutes. Two Huron township police officers and a Michigan DNR Officer also responded to the scene. At that time, they were all unable to locate fire and/or smoke in the area and spent considerable time investigating. A neighbor to the reported residence was interviewed upon their arrival and stated that he was working in his yard all day and had observed no smoke and/or fire in the area.

Although some on social media speculated that it could have been a person’s “Kubota” on fire, the Public Safety Department did NOT receive any calls reporting this event. To this moment we have received no calls from anyone reporting a fire at their residence or damage to their property. Should that owner exist, we encourage them to call us to initiate an investigation.

To further the investigation, I contacted the City of Romulus Fire Department to inquire if they had any fire incidents in the area. They reported that they had a “hay truck” fire in the area of I-275 and Eureka at approximately 11a.m. Romulus Fire Staff on their scene advised that the pictures posted on our local social media site looked consistent with their fire. Unfortunately, since we have NOT been contacted by the concerned party who posted the photos, we are unable to obtain information as to when and where they were taken. We would be happy to speak with anyone who has information regarding this incident.

As the Director of Public Safety, I think it is important to provide the residents with some accurate facts that contradict some of the misinformation posted recently on social media. Last month, OUR fire department responded to 153 calls, 134 rescue calls and 19 fire related calls. The average response time was SEVEN (7) minutes. This is consistent with recent monthly statistics. OUR fire department is staffed with a paramedic 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Our fire response is supplemented with part-time paramedics and EMT staffing as well as paid-on-call firefighters. We don’t NOT utilize volunteer firefighters. Every member of our staff is compensated and trained. Our dedicated Fire Chief, Jamie Hinojosa, along with Deputy Chief James Katona work hard each and every day to ensure that OUR community gets the quality service that it deserves.

We will always be open and transparent with the community that we are dedicated to serve and protect. It is unfortunate that we must defend ourselves against speculation and misinformation, but I do realize that it is the day and age we live in. I am always open to analyzing our work in an effort to improve our services, but I believe we responded appropriately in this instance using the information we were provided. I do feel that I must respond to recent social media comments that somehow, we do not have a great fire department with unwavering respectful disagreement. As not only the Director of Public Safety, but also as a resident of this community, I am fortunate to see the tireless work and dedication of the men and women of OUR fire department first-hand. I can tell you without hesitation that I sleep well each and every night knowing that if an emergency happens to friends or family in my community, our dedicated fire staff will be there to protect them. I thank each and every one of them for providing me, my friends, and my family that comfort and security.

As always, our door is always open to anyone who would like to discuss anything public safety related. Feel free, to call me, Director Everette Robbins, at 734-753-4400 or email at erobbins@hurontwppd.us


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