The Department

Response Map

The Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Service Authority (GTMESA) also known as the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department provides fire and life services to the Township of Acme, East Bay Charter Township, and Charter Township of Garfield since officially organized in 1980. We are an “All Hazards” department that looks at all emergency risks our citizens may face. The department has (5) five strategically located stations spread across the 110 square miles of land that encompass urban and rural living, lakes, rivers, and recreational state land. Our staffing consists of a combination model where we supplement full time firefighters with part time employees.

In 2008, the department reorganized as a Fire Authority under Michigan Public Act 57. The three townships believe in the concept of regionalization and the economies of scale by sharing resources. The Authority is governed by a board consisting of two elected officials of each Township. The region is one of a few areas in the State that has seen consistent growth. The department has a vision and strategic direction to manage how this growth affects the delivery of emergency services.

Please click on the map to the left to view our response area, or scroll down to learn more about your department.

The GTMESA Operations Division is responsible for providing a skilled and timely response to any call for aid – we are a true “All-Hazards” department.

The Operations Division is made up of an Operations Chief, 3 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, 15 full-time firefighters, and 10 part-time firefighters. The Operations Division staffs 4 fire stations on a 24/7 basis and 1 fire station as personnel levels allow. All our suppression firefighters are divided into three shift rotations: Red, Green, and Blue.

This places an average of 9 firefighters on duty per day. Our full-time firefighters work a 48/96 schedule, meaning they work 48 hours in a row, followed by 96 hours off. Our part-time firefighters work a varying schedule of either 12- or 24-hour shifts. Our fire stations are strategically located in each of the three townships we serve: Acme, East Bay, and Garfield Townships.

The Fire Prevention Division is an all-hazards Community Risk Reduction program who works in conjunction with the Operations Division to carry out the mission of the department. We provide services which encompass the three E’s of quality prevention programs: Education, Enforcement and Engineering. We conduct fire code compliance (enforcement) inspections, plan review (engineering) of new buildings, fire protection systems and assistance to developers for new construction projects. Numerous education programs are offered such as: CPR, fire extinguishers, car seat installations, smoke alarm checks in homes, senior specific programs, evacuation training, safety programs in schools, among many others and is the host agency for Safe Kids North Shore programming.

The Fire Prevention Division also conducts investigations of all fires in the combat against arson and provides counseling services through our Youth Fire setter program. Our goal of eliminating fires and traumatic injuries in our community is a huge task to which we strive to attain.

Training is the foundation of any well-prepared organization, and we take our mission of serving our community by safeguarding life and property from fire, hazards & medical emergencies through education, intervention, and quality response serious GTMESA. We pride ourselves on being ready for any emergency, day, or night, in any weather condition.

Our firefighters spend countless hours training both on and off duty in many different disciplines. The fire department has had to evolve over the years to much more than just putting out fires and treating medical emergencies, we have evolved into an all-hazards response team. Our firefighters are tasked with not only Fire and EMS responsibilities, but also Hazardous Materials Mitigation, Rope Rescue, Confined Space, Trench Rescue, Ice / Water / Land Search and Rescue, Building Pre-Plan Training, and Machine / Vehicle Extrication to name a few. Our firefighters need to be trained on operating fire engines, ladder trucks, tanker trucks, all terrain vehicles, boats, and snowmobiles as well as many different types of handheld tools and power equipment.

GTMESA has developed a Training Division consisting of the Operations Chief, a Training Officer, and several Company Officers to ensure the latest training is being delivered safely and efficiently to our firefighters exceeding the training requirements of the State of Michigan. We pride ourselves on being one of the best trained departments in Northern Michigan.

We are proud to present to you our annual reports over the years, please see them below or reach out to for any questions.