Vital air supply is a lifeline for these firefighters

New air filling station to provide increased capacity for Mackinaw City Fire Department

This filling station doesn’t offer jump at the pump—it provides the breath of life.

In northern Michigan, the Mackinaw City Fire Department recently purchased a new air filling station with increased capacity to deliver air tanks to firefighters on-scene more efficiently.

“What used to take us around four hours to fill up a smaller-sized cascade system now only takes about two hours to fill the entire system. The new system is capable of filling 41 SCBA tanks, which is around twice the capacity our old system was able to handle,” explains Lieutenant John House.

Replacing the old, outdated system was a priority for the fire department, since air tanks are a lifeline for firefighters, providing clean air to breathe when they enter an active fire scene.

The department covers the village of Mackinaw City, as well as Wawatam and Mackinaw Townships, and has mutual aid agreements with fire departments through Cheboygan, Emmet and Mackinac Counties.

“If there was a mutual aid incident in Mackinaw where we had to call in surrounding departments, we could fill their air bottles and keep up better as they switch out tanks. The faster we can fill the tanks, the faster we can get our firefighters back to the scene,” House says.

The Mackinaw City FD is a volunteer fire department that is made up of 23 certified firefighters based out of two fire stations in the village.

“Like any other small department, it’s getting harder and harder for us to find people to join the department. It’s a big commitment; we’re basically on-call 24 hours a day,” says fire chief John Krueger.

“It's challenging to get a group together sometimes, but we’re lucky to have surrounding departments that we work well with that can come to our aid when it’s necessary,” he adds.

At Enbridge, safety is a core value—and the very foundation of our business. Our Safe Community grant program helps emergency responder organizations keep the communities near our operations safe, and our recent contribution of $36,700 to the Mackinaw City FD allowed for the outdated air filling station to be replaced.

“We’re really appreciative of Enbridge and everything they do for us. It’s important for us to have working and up-to-date equipment so we can serve our community better and we’re thankful Enbridge can help provide support for that,” says Krueger.