LANSING, Mich. — Meridian Township first responders are getting a second $1,000 bonus to show them how much the community appreciated their hard work and dedication during the pandemic.
“You know a lot of individuals in most communities got to stay home for a number of months during the peak of COVID. Firefighters and police officers had to come to work every day, which no problem. They enjoy their job and its in their blood if you will," said Fire Chief Michael Hamel.
Hamel isn’t alone in recognizing first responders in Meridian Township. The Township Board voted in favor of issuing a second round of hazard payments to police, fire and EMS workers as a thank you.
“We passed another $1,000 per first responder to thank them in 2020 and then again here in 2021 because as we all know the pandemic didn’t go away last year. It carried on and we’re finally now towards the end of it," said Meridian Township Treasurer Phil Deschaine.
But for the past 16 months, the pandemic has added an extra layer of danger to their jobs.
“While some of our team members had the option of working from home, our 75 courageous firefighters, paramedics and police officers were out in the field every day during a global pandemic," said Deschaine.
Hamel says about 35 members of the fire department will get the bonus, which he says is very much appreciated.
“The pandemic was tough. It was life-changing for everybody. It was emotional for most everybody and we just did our best to work through it and try to stay positive and protect our troops,” Hamel said.
Deschaine says the bonuses will be included in the first responders’ next paycheck.
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