The Atwood Fire Station is one of two stations in the Banks Township Fire and Rescue Department. The Fire Department was organized in 1928. Many changes have occurred in the department over 75 years of existence. In 1956, Banks Township and the Village of Ellsworth organized jointly with the Fire Department for development of a tax-funded department.
In 1958, a brickcrete fire hall was built by donated labor on the site of the former Orient Hotel at a cost of $6,000 paid jointly by the Township and the Village. In 1980, voters decided to form a Fire District supported by a separate tax millage. A second fire hall was built in Atwood in 1982. The Fire Department continued to grow with the addition of two nurses and a licensed EMT. The following year, four men completed the EMT licensure process.
The Fire Department currently has two fire stations, seven fire and rescue vehicles, more than 20 members and over 100 runs per year.
In 1989, a new fire hall was built in Ellsworth on former Railroad property. This building houses five of the seven fire and first response vehicles. A record of 105 runs were made in 1989. The Department continued to expand services through the years with the addition of jaws of life and defibrillators.
In 1995, a new fire station was built in Atwood and the former Atwood Fire Hall was sold back to the previous owners of the property. This station houses a pump truck and a tanker truck.
Banks Township Fire and Rescue Department continues to expand its fire fighting and rescue capabilities. With the purchase of a 12 foot inflatable boat and an ice rescue sled, Banks can now deal with emergencies on land and water.
The Fire Department was fortunate in 2003 to be awarded a $28,000,00 grant from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. This funding was used to purchase a thermal imaging camera and two new automated defibrillators or AEDs.
In 2003, the Fire Department had 21 members: eight Emergency Medical Technicians and two Medical First Responders. Twenty individuals are certified as level one or two Fire Fighters. The department is very active in local schools offering fire prevention training and CPR. Additionally, two new pumper trucks were purchased in 2003. These trucks, valued at $200,000 each, replaced a 1978 and a 1985 pumper truck.
In 2013, there were 135 runs, 88 were rescue runs and 47 were fire and miscellaneous runs. The Department now has 22 members. Two new tanker trucks were purchased in 2011.
Mark Groenink, Fire Chief
Chief : Mark Groenink
Asst. Chief : Brian VanderArk
Ellsworth Captain : Darrel Richards
Atwood Captain : Nathan St. Pierre
Emergency Services (EMS) Director: Ward St. Pierre
Secretary/Treasurer : John Hastings
Fire Department meetings are held Tuesday evenings, 7PM, at the Ellsworth Fire Station.