Michigan Gas Utilities (MGU) is awarding $10,000 to support first responders throughout its communities. The funding is part of MGU’s Rewarding Responders Grant program, which helps police, fire and emergency medical service agencies purchase lifesaving equipment or important training.

“This program is one of the many ways we make the safety of our employees and communities a critical focus every day,” said Mike Baker, vice president — MGU. “Our first responders race toward danger and distress 24/7. We’re honored to help provide these vital tools to keep everyone safe.”

A mutual commitment to a brighter future

MGU has now awarded more than $75,000 to area public safety agencies through this important program. The grants have helped first responders across southern and western Michigan purchase essential equipment and crucial training to improve public safety in their communities.

The Ida Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Leighton Township Fire Department are among the recipients of this year’s grants. The Ida Township Fire Department is using its grant to purchase two thermal imaging cameras. The thermal imaging cameras will help firefighters locate and stop smoke or small fires hidden within walls, ceilings or floors before they grow into hazardous situations.

“Receiving the Rewarding Responders Grant is bringing the latest technology to our department to improve our service to the residents of Ida and Raisinville townships,” said Carl Arnold, captain — Ida Township Fire Department. “These new cameras will allow our firefighters to see through smoke to find people in need faster while also reducing the time firefighters spend in dangerous conditions.”

The Leighton Township Fire Department is using its grant to purchase wearable emergency scene safety lights. The safety lights can be attached directly to a firefighter’s clothing, increasing visibility while responding to emergencies along area roadways. The lights also will allow firefighters to locate each other more quickly during fires and incidents at night, helping keep themselves and members of the public safe.

“It’s fantastic to receive this grant from MGU and purchase a piece of safety equipment that not only helps keep traffic scenes safer, but also improves our response to fires as well,” said Matt Weston, fire chief — Leighton Township Fire Department. “It’s a blessing to have MGU give back to the community and support not only our department, but help other departments receive important equipment like this as well.”

Improving safety with important tools

The 2023 grant recipients include:

  • Berrien County Public Safety Communication Center — Wireless 911 communication equipment
  • Ida Township Fire Department — Thermal imaging cameras
  • Leighton Township Fire Department — Wearable emergency scene safety lights
  • Martin Fire Department — Multi-gas detector
  • Union City Fire Department — Structural firefighting boots
Supporting service, strengthening safety in our communities

MGU offers its Rewarding Responders Grant program annually to enhance public safety in the communities it serves. Eligible agencies can apply for up to $2,000 in funding through the grant program.

Agencies may receive a grant if they:

  • Operate in the MGU service area.
  • Did not receive a grant during the previous year.
  • Complete an online grant application.
  • Demonstrate the equipment or training they will acquire is part of a well-planned effort to improve public safety. Grants also may be put toward unique, safety-related projects that are one-time efforts.

Learn more about the grant