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Glen Lake Fire Department. Rescue/Fire Boat. Rescue/Fire Boat Needs Risks Plans Conclusions Funding. September 2010 Glen Lake Fire Department. Glen Lake Fire Department Goals

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Rescue/Fire Boat

      • Needs
      • Risks
      • Plans
      • Conclusions
      • Funding
  • September 2010
  • Glen Lake Fire Department

Glen Lake Fire Department

  • Goals
  • Provide cost-effective, high level of service for the protection of life and property from fire, panic and other hazards.
  • Work to ensure effective emergency-related services that will provide reasonable protection against fire, injury or illness

Water and Land

  • Glen Arbor Township is 87.6 square miles
  • 28.6 Sq. miles is land
  • 59.0 Sq. miles is water (67%)‏
  • Empire Township is 42.8 square miles
  • 35.3 Sq. miles is land
  • 7.6 Sq miles is water (17%)‏
  • Combined this gives the Glen Lake Fire Dept. 130.4 Sq Miles to cover. 66.6 Sq. Miles of water (51%).

United States Census Bureau



  • The Glen Lake Fire Dept. covers:
  • 19 miles of Lake Michigan coast line
  • 10 miles of Glen Lake coast line
  • 6 miles of Little Glen Lake coast line
  • Total of 35 miles of coast line

Why study Water Operations?

(August ‘09-June ‘10)

  • With the recent merger of Glen Arbor and Empire resources/coverage areas, the awareness of water rescue has grown more apparent due to a recent trend of increased water related incidences.
variety of watercraft on the lakes
Variety Of Watercraft On The Lakes
  • Body boards and surf boards
  • Kite boarding
  • Kayaks and canoes
  • Wave runners and jet skis
  • Sail boats of all size
  • Fishing boats
  • Ski boats
The Possibility of a house fire on lake front property on Lake Michigan, Glen Lake, or Little Glen Lake

As of Sept. 30th 2008, the State Of Michigan had 813,957 registered water crafts.

  • As of June 1st 2010, Leelanau County had 5,958 registered water crafts.
  • 342 are vessels rented from one of the six local liveries

MI Secretary Of State


In 2008 the State of Michigan reported 201 water craft accidents.

  • Of the 201 accidents in 2008, there were 36 fatalities
  • According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2007 there were 30,500 accidents and fires on the water nation wide. This resulted in a total loss value of $329,000,000.
  • There are nine accidental drownings in the United States every day.

NFPA and MI Sec of State

water incident responses
Water Incident Responses
  • Between Jan. 1, 2003 – Dec. 31, 2008 the Glen Arbor Fire Department responded to 23 water related emergencies (including 3 drowning)
  • 2009 the Glen Lake Fire Dept. has responded to 19 Water related incidents.
  • 2010 to date GLFD has responded to 7

Recent Anecdotal History

  • 2 Capsized vessels 7 individuals hanging on to boat for 90 minutes water temp 58 July 3rd 2009
  • 2 subjects in Glen Lake hanging on to capsized watercraft July 11th 2009
  • Subject with fractures from water skiing August 9th 2009
  • Capsized catamaran, 2 subjects in water August 2nd 2010
  • August 7th 2010, injuries from boating accident, arm and wrist fractures

What are the available life safety resources?

  • The United States Coast Guard
  • Leelanau County Sheriff's Office
  • Mutual Aid with another Fire Dept.
  • Commandeer a Boat when a rescue arises
  • Recreation of citizen call tree

Water response: Past and Present

  • Currently we rely on the County Marine Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, and commandeering boats when need arises
  • Glen Lake Fire Dept. (Glen Arbor & Empire) in the past had Jet Skis and a 12 foot Ski Doo Hard Bottom Rib.
  • Sheriff's Boat periodically on Glen Lake for law enforcement

Speed of response is crucial with water safety

  • The U.S. Coast Guard Frankfort Station
      • One 25 foot Rib with about a 1 hour response time to our area (depending on lake conditions)
      • Life Safety is only concern
      • - No firefighting capabilities
  • County marine patrol has too many variables
according to the leelanau co sheriff s office water division
According to the Leelanau Co. Sheriff’s Office Water Division...

Boats are placed into service around Mid May weather permitting

Boats are located; Not Manned)‏

Glen Lake

Lake Leelanau

Suttons Bay

Trailer (Lake Michigan)‏

according to the leelanau co sheriff s dept water division
According to the Leelanau Co. Sheriff's Dept. Water Division...

Their main concern on the water is Law enforcement.

Second comes Search and rescue

Their average response time to water related incidents is 30 min. to 90 min.

After Oct. 1st every year all boats are taken out of service until the next spring.

The Sheriff's Dept. will not respond to Lake Michigan once fall weather begins. They call the Coast Guard.

Main air station for Dist. 9 The Great Lakes.

Coverage area includes; Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Greater part of Lake Huron

They are not required to respond to all calls.

For the U.S.C.G. to respond a list of criteria has to be met

Most import criteria are; Sinking Boat, Severe injury or missing person on the water

U.S.C.G. Will not service inland lakes

united states coast guard equipment
United States Coast Guard Equipment

Five HH-65c Helicopters in Traverse City

Only Two are manned 24-7

One 25 foot boat at Frankfort Station which covers from Arcadia to Leland.‏


Once all criteria are met for the Coast Guard to respond they have 30 min. to launch after their dispatch has been completed. This could result in a response time of 45 min+ unless there is a unit already out on a training mission.

water can have a negative impact on the human body
Water can have a Negative impact on the Human Body
  • Normal Body Temp. 98.6 degrees F
  • Hypothermia begins to set in at 95.0 degrees F
  • In water colder than 65 degrees F this takes only minutes to set in.
  • Begins to damage nerves and blood vessels that are exposed to the cold temp.
  • Effects the heart, and entire respiratory track
  • Can lead to respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest
  • If submerged under water, after six minutes you begin to lose brain function
  • Ultimately death will occur

Average Lake Michigan Water Temperatures

annual national park usage
Annual National Park Usage
  • In 2008 1,017,166 million visitors came to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National lakeshore.
  • In 2009 the SB Lake shore had a 5.5% increase (1,073,102).
  • 134,343 in September 2009-54% more that September 2008
  • 2010 annual usage up 12.8%
  • June 2010 increased 18.7% from 2009

Erosion of Sleeping Bear Dunes (NPS, USGS, NOAA, United States Shore Line Recession Rate Data Final Report).

  • Polaris rescue becoming more difficult due to erosion.
  • Storms with N/NW winds restrict beach access for Polaris launch.
  • Coastal Change- Potential Assessment of Sleeping Bear Dunes, NOAA


Need Assessment

  • Available water life safety resources are insufficient for coverage responsibilities.
  • County, state and Federal resources are distant and less available in some cases
  • GLFD should identify action to provide improved capability for water-based rescue and fire suppression

What Are Alternative Solutions?

  • More county, state, Federal support
  • Lakeside networks/commandeering
  • Zodiacs/jet skis
  • Water rescue craft (mobile)‏
  • Water rescue craft with pumping capability (mobile)‏


why a water rescue boat with pumping capability
Why A Water-Rescue Boat with Pumping Capability?

Why a Rescue Boat with

pumping capability?

fire suppression water requirements
Fire Suppression Water Requirements
  • Within 1000’ of the lakes:
  • The GPM (gallons per minute) rate of the GLFD district’s fire flow protection is below the ISO-rating standard
  • 56% of total structures in the district are within these 1000’ areas of coverage
  • 78% of assessed property value is in this coverage area
  • 71% of these structures are not covered by the defined ISO-rating of fire flow protection (750 GPM)

Purpose of Rescue/Fire Boat

  • Water Rescue/E.M.S.
  • Water Recovery (side scan sonar)‏
  • Fire Suppression

What are the Costs?

  • $250,000 (Boat and equipment)
  • Estimated annual cost of the watercraft will be $4,000. This will include Preventive maintenance, fuel, and training of personal.
  • Donations requests include an endowment and will cover the majority of continued costs
  • No TAX dollars are designated or intended for this craft
proposed boat
Proposed Boat
  • Designed by experienced Naval Architect to provide our unique requirements for our diverse bodies of water.
  • Very low maintenance due to rugged aluminum construction. Normal maintenance will be carried out by duty crew.
  • Estimated as a Fifty (50) year useful life
  • Kept in Glen Arbor, on a tri-axle trailer for maximum stability and safety in all launch areas, and pulled by one of three of our present trucks.
  • Training will be ongoing, incorporated into our present schedules, and will be along side the U.S Coast
some basic features
Some basic features
  • 28 feet long, 10 foot beam, Marine grade Aluminum throughout, welded construction. 18” Draft
  • Weather tight helm, bench seats, forward cuddy, and fire monitor on the bow
  • Twin 225 hp 4 stoke outboard engines, plus one 300 hp below deck marine engine for shallow water operations, safe rescue operations and used for water pumping.
  • 3 foot dive door, ample deck space and gear storage, rugged towing post.
  • Water jet/marine engine with diverter valve to change water flow from propulsion to fire water supply capable of 3,000 gpm
  • Radar, navigation, and search equipment suitable to provide safe operation in the worst weather and wave conditions.

Life Safety

  • We are in the business of life safety. The Glen Lake Fire Dept. is committed to providing the highest level of care to all those whom we protect. By acquiring a new Rescue/Fire Boat, we will have a necessary tool to help us perform our every day operations safely and more efficiently.


  • Tax deductible donations to Glen Arbor Fire and Rescue Association 501 (c) (3)
  • Application currently to Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Park Service (NPS)

For more information :

Contact: John A. Dodson, Chief of Department


To make a tax deductable donation:

Mail: Glen Arbor Fire and Rescue Association

C/O Fire and Rescue Boat

P.O. Box 417

Glen Arbor, MI 49636