The Fire Department was created in 1947 to service a then mainly agricultural district with very few fires, but a potential that could not be handled by neighboring Portage or Oshtemo Township. As the Township became a desirable area for residential growth, more agricultural areas were developed into housing plats. This increased the potential for emergency medical related requests from the Fire Department due to the lengthy response time for an ambulance to reach these areas from Kalamazoo.
In 1957, Interstate 94 was constructed with an interchange at 9th Street. This brought increased vehicular traffic into the Township (2008 figures, 76,000 vehicles per day on I-94) with a resultant increase in traffic accidents, which required a Fire Department response. The construction of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (10,000 students, 400+ staff) and one of Kalamazoo’s larger employers, PNC Bank – Michigan Headquarters office (over 1000 employees) led to development of multi-family housing and commercial businesses that have increased the fluid population in the Township during certain times of the day.
Development is currently underway on a Business, Technology and Research Park at the southwest corner of I-94 and 9th Street. This area contains the Dana Corporations Spicer Heavy Axle and Brake research and development center as well as Kalamazoo Valley Community College Industrial Technology Center, and Bronson Healthcare Groups Lifestyle Health and Fitness Center. Other major corporate research and development centers are expected to construct facilities in this park. Other development is rapidly taking place north of I-94 near 9th Street. This includes the Corporate Woods office development, Southwest Michigan Athletic Training facility, Twin Star Ice Arena Pirates Island indoor water park and Kids Sports gymnastics center .