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ELFD Firefighter Paramedic Deployed to Assist with Hurricane Dorian Rescue Operations
East Lansing firefighter paramedic Chris Patterson recently returned from a deployment down south with the Holly, Mich.-based Michigan Task Force 1 Team (MI-TF 1), which was called upon earlier this month to assist with Hurricane Dorian rescue operations.

Patterson serves as a swift water technician and rescue specialist with MI-TF 1 and has had to undergo challenging physical tests and training to earn his spot on this highly-trained and elite team.

“I am very proud of him and know he puts in many hours to be a part of this team,” said East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) Deputy Chief Dawn Carson.

Carson is a member of MI-TF 1 as well, serving as a tech search specialist; as is Steve Peto, a retired ELFD employee.

Members of the MI-TF 1 team are trained to be self sufficient for 14 days, carrying their own food, water, shelter (tents), bedding/cots, portable showers/bathrooms, specialty group equipment and trailers for medical, communications and command operations.

Patterson’s recent deployment with the team began with a request for a Type III Strike Team from Florida. Upon authorization from the Michigan Governor’s Office, the team mobilized and headed south on Monday, Sept. 2. Upon arrival in Florida, they were based at a military barracks, where they awaited assignment. They were assigned to Flagler County, Florida; where they performed basic search and rescue as well as reconnaissance to assess damages and rescue needs for the area. Luckily, Patterson said, the damages were not as bad as had been predicted. He noted that Florida had a couple of task forces (Type I teams) that were assigned to the Bahamas, but that, as a Type III team, MI-TF 1 was not certified to leave the continental U.S. After a couple days in Florida, the team was re-assigned to North Carolina, where they were based out of Raleigh for a day to wait on a potential new assignment in that area. The team was released to come home on Saturday, Sept. 7 and arrived back in Michigan on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 8. 

Patterson said during downtime on the trip they were constantly training and that he is grateful for the experience and what he has been able to take away from being a part of the MI-TF 1 team.

“I’ve been humbled by what I’ve learned as a part of this task force,” said Patterson. “It is an honor to be a part of this team and we owe a big thanks to East Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro and East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas for supporting us in this endeavor. I feel very fortunate to be training among some of the most elite rescue technicians from the State of Michigan and to be equipped to help people impacted by the ravages of Mother Nature.”
Center City District Project to be Completed Soon
The Center City District redevelopment project is nearing completion, bringing transformational growth to the heart of downtown East Lansing. 

This $125 million project has diversified downtown East Lansing’s housing stock, while also significantly increasing the number of people – both students and 55+ active adults – living in the downtown. The project has also resulted in the opening of a small-format, urban Target store and a variety of soon-to-open retailers. Foster Coffee Company is slated to open the weekend of Sept. 20-22, while Barrio Tacos and Jolly Pumpkin are expected to open in late fall and early winter respectively. Additional retailers are soon to be announced. 

Significant public infrastructure improvements have also occurred as a result of this project, which were made possible through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF is a common and creative financing tool used across the country, which allows cities to make important improvements to public infrastructure through public-private partnerships. In the case of the Center City District project, the new public parking garage, underground utility upgrades and public space improvements (roads, sidewalks, landscaping, alleyways, etc.) were financed up front by the developer and the debt from that financing will be paid back to the developer over the course of 30 years by a portion of the new taxes generated by the project. 

In addition to the public infrastructure improvements and the continued base tax revenue, the City will receive approximately $397,300 in new annual revenue as a result of the project. This includes $200,000 for the ground lease, an additional $29,300 in Downtown Development Authority millage funds, $25,000 in personal property taxes, a $15,000 annual brownfield fee and an estimated $128,000 increase in parking revenue as a result of the replacement of Lot 1 with the new, larger-capacity parking garage, which is owned and operated by the City. There will also be new income tax revenue as a result of the project.
Income Tax Dollars Support Purchase of New Truck for ELFD
The East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) will soon be home to a new Rosenbauer Cobra fire truck with a 101-foot ladder and a platform for maximum reach and capacity. The $980,799 truck, the purchase of which has been supported by East Lansing income tax dollars in addition to ELFD fleet replacement schedule funds, replaces a 75-foot ladder truck with a broken frame.

“We are excited for the arrival of this new truck, as it will improve our capabilities to fight fires and protect lives, while also providing added safety for our firefighter paramedics,” said East Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro.

The truck will come equipped with a number of features and modifications that will allow ELFD firefighter paramedics to work for extended periods of times, with 360-degree capability. Features include a retractable ladder with a bucket and an aerial command seat, where fire personnel can safely operate and monitor all aerial functions using a high-tech control system. The truck will also have the capability to fight fires in high-rise buildings up to the 7th or 8th floor.

ELFD’s new truck is expected to arrive in early to mid October. 
East Lansing Welcomes the World to Take Place Friday, Sept. 20
The 10th Annual East Lansing Welcomes the World event will be hosted at the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), 950 Abbot Road, on Friday, Sept. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

International students and families are invited to come meet their East Lansing neighbors at this special, free event brought to the community by a partnership between the City of East Lansing and Michigan State University. The event will feature catered food, family activities, community information tables, a special visit from Sparty and more. New this year, there will also be karaoke. In addition to the food and activities, there will be a brief program during the event featuring welcoming remarks by East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows, MSU Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) Director Krista McCallum Beatty and ELPL Director Kristin Shelley.

“We are excited to add karaoke to the mix of activities offered at this year’s event and we are hoping that moving the event from a Sunday afternoon to a Friday evening will work well for both students and families alike,” said OISS Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator Joy Shantz. “This event is always a lot of fun and it is a great opportunity for us to let our international community members know that they are welcome here.”

“The City of East Lansing is a richly diverse community, with approximately 9,000 international students, scholars and dependent family members living here,” said ELPL Director Kristin Shelley. “The East Lansing Welcomes the World event provides our community members from across the globe with a great opportunity to meet their American neighbors in a fun and welcoming setting.”

The East Lansing Welcomes the World event is free and open to all community members. East Lansing residents are encouraged to attend to help in welcoming their international neighbors.

East Lansing Talks About.... 

Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Counties; in partnership with the City of East Lansing, East Lansing Public Schools and Eaton RESA; is pleased to offer “East Lansing Talks About…” conversations about mental health and wellness. The topic of the first conversation, taking place on Sept. 18, will be suicide and self-harm. Learn more

Fall Yard Waste Collection

With fall just around the corner, community members are encouraged to mark their calendars for fall bulk leaf collection weeks and no-fee yard waste days. Regular yard waste collection will also continue to be offered through Nov. 18. Click here for all of the fall yard waste collection dates.

City Launches New Public Meeting Portal

The City of East Lansing is excited to announce the launch of iCompass, a meeting and agenda management portal for local governments. Meeting agendas, minutes and videos for East Lansing City Council and some boards and commissions will be posted on this new platform. Learn more

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