It is with great sadness and disappointment the board of officers of the Badger Firefighters Association has announced that the 2020 Annual Meeting has been CANCELLED!
The board will make arrangement with those departments that had members to be honored with Meritorious Service, Heroism and Length of Service Awards to be presented at their respective departments in the near future.
We truly apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation may have caused. We as the officers of our association opted to error on the side of pre-caution and public conception. “We need to lead by example,” is the reason for this cancellation.
Your Board of Officers—Fred Arbuckle, President; Peter Manning, Vice President; Jason Ebert, Treasurer; Ron Naab, Secretary; Jim Langford, Chaplain
OUR ASSOCIATION PREPARES TO WRAP UP AND TO GO FORWARD
Welcome to the “New Norm October.” We, as first responders, family members and members of our society, are in unique times for sure. Nothing is like it use to be and probably will never be. Many of us have experienced some challenging times. We ask that you talk with others, seek support through counseling. Our state has seen a uptick in suicides and overdoses in the past 7 months. Be sure to be open with your fellow responders after a call. Communications is key in this “new norm” we live in.
We offer prayers and thoughts of support to our brothers and sisters in blue along with those fighting the wildland fires on the western area of our country. Many of our fellow first responders are facing challenges in work lives. We ask they keep their faith, focus on their purpose and stay strong.
The board of officers met with Slinger Fire Department to plan the 2020 Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 1. We will have seating to provide “social distancing.” We have a full program for the afternoon. Open House will be at 1:30 pm with the meeting starting at 2:30 pm. We will be doing the 2020 awards presentations, prior to the evening meal which will be served by Catering by Bryan. We will be sending out information very shortly.
The Training Committee has been busy putting together our calendar for some Hands-On Training. Basic Rapid Intervention Team training on March 12 and 13 at the “Slinger House.” Friday night will be classroom with a new sigment dealing with Firefighter Down CPR and Saturday will be filled with Hands-On training. The weekend of April 16 and 17 our association is hosting an Agriculture Rescue Seminar with the Fillmore Fire Department. Friday evening there will be number of lecture sessions to prepare the participants for 6 practical stations on Saturday. Our hosts for Saturday’s program will be the Golden E Dairy Farms.
Recently we noticed that the Federal Railroad Administration has made an attempt to reduce the number of fatalities occuring on the railroad tracks in our country. Being installed on railroad crossings they are installing blue and white Emergency Notifications System (ENS). These are designed that if there is an emergency on the track, There will be an emergency contact phone number to call to report a problem or emergency. Each crossing will be assigned a crossing number and will list the railroad company that owns the railroad system.
Following our commitment to provide a bit of information to help us be better serving our customers and fellow responders we will feature Forest Reeder of Tinley Park Fire Department. Promotes his favorite phrase—Better, Faster, Safer and Smarter, which his department strives to, accomplish in every task or endeavor they encounter. Train to be Better, faster, safer and smarter than you were before this training session. “Every purchase, every policy, training, and interaction in their operations should be driven around at least one of these principles,” writes Chief Reeder.
A REMINDER that your annual dues are to be paid for the annual meeting. If you need an invoice, please contact Secretary Ron Naab.
Strive to be better, faster, safer, and smarter,
Badger Firefighters Association Officers
WHEN GOD MADE FIREFIGHTERS
When God was creating firefighters, he was into the sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of extra work on this one.”
And the Lord said, “Have you read the specs on this order? A firefighter has to wake up to a fire alarm, go into burning buildings to rescue people and enter areas the normal person wouldn’t go.
“He has to be willing to leave his family and put his life on the line, work to exhaustion and beyond and be ready for the next call.
“He has to have a strong commitment to a personal calling that places their lives in jeopardy every day.
He has to be in top mental condition at all times, function on black coffee and half-eaten meals, and have a heart big enough to love members of the ‘brotherhood’ world-wide, and a unity of purpose.”
The angel shook it’s head slowly and said, “A heart that big… no way.”
“It’s not the heart that is causing me problems,” said the Lord, “it’s the extra hands and eyes a firefighter has to have.”
“That has to be on the standard model?” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. “One pair of eyes that sees the whole situation, another pair that sees what is ahead to be dealt with, a third pair to watch out for his brothers, and another pair here in front that can look reassuringly at an injured victim and say, “You’ll be alright,” even when he knows it isn’t so.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”
“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a model that can carry a 190 pound victim out of a burning building, has dedicated his life to helping people, and is willing to come to the aid of those threatened by the deadly force of fire.”
The angel circled the model of the firefighter very slowly, “Can it think?” the angel asked.
“You bet,” said the Lord. “It can tell you the elements of a hundred fires, the victims and rescues, and the importance of fire safety…. and still keep its sense of humor.
“This firefighter also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with fire scenes painted in hell, coax a trapped person or animal out of a burning building, and still go home and love his family.
“Being a firefighter is one of bravery, loyalty and devotion to public service. He is willing to put his life on the line every day to protect our homes and our loved ones from the devastating effects of fire, and sometimes, the honorable job of saving lives requires many firefighters to pay the ultimate price for their valor in the line of duty.”
Finally, the angel ran a finger across the cheek of the firefighter. “There’s a leak,” the angel pronounced. “I told you that you were trying to put too much in this model.”
“That’s not a leak,” the Lord said, “it’s a tear.”
“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.
“It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for the victims, and for commitment to that piece of cloth called the American flag.”
“You’re a genius,” said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there,” he said.
Life in the Emergency Services is Ever Changing
Our state and our country are still in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic and life is topsy-tury. We have had many of our events have been postponed or cancelled, including some great training events your association was working on. We are still looking at doing a Farm Rescue program next spring. In addition we will be sending out information on the upcoming Basic Rapid Intervention Team training on March 12 and 13 at the “Slinger House.” We as firefighters and EMTs will perserver and will learn and grow from this experience. The board of officers for the Badger Firefighters Association hopes that you stay safe and healthy.
These are truly trying times for all of us. Recently the Charleston, West Virgnia Fire Department announced that a 27 year old Firefighter/Paramedic died in the station in the early hours of the 20th of July. Toxicology report reviewed that he had injested two dangers chemicals—fentanyl and zylazine. Zylazine is a very powerful veterianarian-grade tranqulizer that is intended for very large animals. According to Charleston Police Chief, Tyke Hunt, “Narcan, an opioid-reversal drug (in reality a drug used to slow the effects of an opioid) used during overdose situations, does not reverse the effects of ingesting xylazine.” Those of us involved in the Washington County Heroin Task Force have noted that there has been a significant rise in addiction overdoses since March 13, 2020. We urge fellow responders to be careful of your surroundings and your patients. Most important be aware of those we live with, work with, and respond with. Do you note personality changes, sleep pattern changes, or work habits changing. Most of us want to support these people. Real support is getting them convinced to get help through treatment centers and counseling.
We have two member departments that are in the midst of new building construction projects. Cascade Fire Department building is moving along very nicely 6 bays and what appears a very nice meeting room and administrative offices. The intentions are that by the end of September the apparatus will have moved in and building will be occupied. The other building project is the new public safety building has started in Jackson. Thus far the footings are in place and much of the under floor work has been performed. Cascade is anticipating their building will be ready to occupy in early spring and Jackon is looking at late fall for their complex to be completed. You will find pictures attached showing progress as of both projects as of the week of August 16th.
On Saturday, the 22nd of August, President Fred Arbuckle and Secretary Ron Naab along with other members of the Badger Firefighters Association and Grafton Fire Department attended the walk through for former Deputy Chief Lawrence Bertrand of the Grafton Fire Department. Our association will be making a $50.00 monetary donation to the Wisconsin State Firefighters and EMS Memorial in Chief Bertrands name.
Our association along with Cedarburg Fire Department are recognizing Raymond Vollrath for his 50 years as a dedicated member of the department. You may have seen Ray with a camera at many events or serving brats and hamburgers at their Maxwell Days. Congratulations Ray!
The board of officers will be meeting with Slinger Fire Department, anticipated host of the 2020 Annual Meeting on November 1. We welcome any comments, suggestions or assistance in making this meeting something everyone can feel comfortable attending.
A REMINDER that your annual dues are to be paid for this meeting, we will be sending out invoices shortly.
Stay focused, stay safe, and stay strong,
Badger Firefighters Association Officers
July 2020 BFA newsletter
SECRETARY’S JULY UPDATE
Here we are into another month of COVID19. It has been determined that the 2020 Agriculture Rescue Training hosted by the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield has been postponed until spring of 2021.
As many fund raising events have been cancelled in our communities, we will need “to tighten our belts” without our major fund raiser[s]. Feel free to share any information about your event(s) that you will hosting or are cancelling so we can pass these on to our members. In Allenton there will be three events presented by the Allenton Annual Picnic Committee—Drive thru Fish Fries on Friday, July 10th and August 14th. They are also hosting a Drive-thru Pig Roast on Sunday, July 26th. All the events will occur at the Allenton Fire Station, 431 Railroad Street in Allenton. Campbellsport Fire Department will be hosting their annual July 3rd Fish Fry at Firemen’s Park.
I am going to start a series of educational tidbits for us to consider as we progress through these uncharted waters. I encourage you to share them with others. This one comes from “10 Deadly Sins for Fireground Failures on a Blog done by Ron Givens. Givens is with Shut Up and Train, LLC. and serve as a Captain with the South Trail Fire Protection & Rescue Service District in Florida.
INABILITY TO FORECAST WORSENING CONDITIONS
Along with experience, comes that hidden sense to detect what’s wrong and what’s right. Whether it’s in a fire, or on a vehicle accident on a highway, a firefighter must always have their head on a swivel, and detect the possibility of worsening conditions. There are many situations that could arise, but detecting them beforehand is much better than to have to deal with the consequences later.
INATTENTION TO DETAIL
This one is mainly for the IC. Inattention to detail for the sake of this article is in reference to having too many radio channels that need to be attended to, and not being able to hear/understand all radio traffic. Another portion of that would include the ever-so-frequent radio transmission that no one understands, and everyone on scene is looking at each other, scratching their head, with the “what did they just say?” look on their face. Hopefully it wasn’t a MAYDAY. Hopefully it wasn’t a, “We’re out of water” transmission.
In my opinion as firefighters we must always keep in mind “the what ifs.” Secondly, as a former chief officer, I always felt the need to have a second person in command, if we were at a major incident, to help monitor radio traffic. Remember your life and the lives of your fellow firefighters depend on how well we are prepared.
WILDLAND ADVISOR FROM BADGER FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION
The members of the Badger Firefighters Association urges our residents in the Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, Washington, and Ozaukee counties to proceed with extreme caution burning rubbish, branches and leaves. The vegetation is still very dry, along with low humidity and strong winds all leads to fire getting out of control very easily.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently released the following information:
“By state statute, DNR fire restrictions only cover parts of the state. In others, local fire departments are responsible. (See the attached map)
When the DNR suspends burning permits, they are only suspended for the areas we cover. That means no debris burning on the ground or in barrels. Campfires for warming and cooking are okay, though strongly discouraged.
If you live or plan to burn outside of the DNR’s fire protection area, it is your responsibility to check locally to see if there are any restrictions.”
The map shows that our area of the state is not under this restriction. There are local municipalities that have issued restrictions and others have not. Check with your local authorities if there are any restrictions. If there are no restrictions, use common sense. We have also included a map as of Tuesday afternoon that the Wisconsin DNR posts on their website to show vegetation fire potential. We note that our area is a high potential stage. The northern part of Wisconsin had snow over the weekend, thus that area is at low potential.
This year presents all sorts of challenges with the presence of COVID19, having firefighters responding to what some of us call “nuisance” fires. These are fires that could have been prevented if common sense would have prevailed. These fires put our members in close proximately of each other with very little protection against the virus. Secondly, these fires take time, puts responders at risk responding and working on level terrain, along with lot of effort for most likely very little monetary value.
We ask you that consider the wind, consider the size of the rubbish pile you are igniting, can you keep in control? Is it near buildings? Is it near a field with tall dry vegetation?
FIRST RESPONDERS ADVICE TO THEIR NEIGHBORS
As firefighters and emergency medical providers we are all being asked to be safe, healthy and strong during these challenging times that our communities, our state, and our country are experiencing. We are going through a “Safer at Home” time which means the limiting of travel, limiting interaction with others and much more.
Much of our state is served by volunteer firefighters and emergency medical providers. These people have fulltime jobs to make a living and they have taken the challenge to provide care and assistance to neighbors and strangers 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In recent years our memberships have decreased due to many factors. Those of us that have stayed involved do this because we care! As first responders we are driven to be the link in someone’s life that has just had a life changing incident and we can help them start the healing process. This could be extinguishing a fire, going to a car accident, or going to a home where someone has fallen or become sick. There is no other more gratifying avocation or vocation than one that allows us to help others.
This all being said, we would like to help you stay healthy and safe with a few pointers. First if you are going to wear gloves while running errands, please think about the possibility of cross contamination. If you grab a grocery cart with your gloves, then touch your phone with same gloves, then touch your child, then touch your cell phone, and then touch your face the gloves were not effective. When you are wearing gloves to do a task, you must remove them safely before starting another task. The CDC suggest the following to remove gloves: “Peel the glove away from your body, pulling it inside out. Hold the glove you just removed in your gloved hand. Peel off the second glove by putting your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist. Turn the second glove inside out while pulling it away from your body, leaving the first glove inside the second.”
Second item we would like to discuss is wearing a surgical mask. When you wear a mask the purpose is to give you protection from inhaling contaminated air. You should be sure that the mask covers your nose and your mouth. Pulling the mask down to breathe easier through your nose negates any safety the mask is designed to do. To wear the mask correctly be sure that each elastic loop is secured around each ear so to be effective. We have found that cloth masks work very well and are able to be cleaned and reused. Some cloth masks come with a pocket that allows the installation of a filter. We advise the general public not purchase N-95 masks as this depletes the supply for our medical personnel.
Other important factors to keeping you safe include to clean your hands when you finish a project or task before you start a new task. Increase ventilation in the building you are occupying by opening windows. If you must have a meeting, be sure it is in a large room and sufficient ventilation to have fresh air movement. If you have been out of the house, be sure to clean your hands as soon as possible. Clean door knobs, handles, cooking preparation surfaces often during the day.
One other concern is this—if you wear gloves and possibly a mask, DON’T throw them into the shopping cart. Put them in a waste disposal bin or put in a shopping bag to take home and dispose there.
If you need emergency assistance at your home or work place be sure that you advise the dispatcher of the type of medical emergency and if there are any symptoms of any sort of virus present. The more information you can share the better prepared our first responders will be.
Presented by the Officers of Badger Firefighters Association; Fred Arbuckle, Pete Manning, Jason Ebert, & Ron Naab
FEBRUARY SECRETARY’S REPORT
Your association has been actively involved with supporting some important legislation at the state. The first bill which appears to have fallen in the cracks at Senator Dewey Strobel’s desk is the bill prohibiting the sale of novelty lighters to minors. The senate had a hearing on this legislation [SB 195] in fall. All of the testimony was in favor of having this law enacted. This is the 4 session of state legislature that a bill pertaining to the prohibition of the sale of novelty lighters has been introduced with BI-PARTISAN s
The other legislation that the board of officers has gone on record to support is AB746, Roadside Responder Safety. The accompanying senate bill is number SB 674. The assembly bill had a hearing held on Thursday, January 23, 2020. There were 11 people [law enforcement, tow truck operators and fire service personnel] that testified in front of the Committee of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Next will be a hearing at the Senate’s Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs, chaired by Sen. Jerry Petrowski [Sen.Petrowski@legis.wisconsin.gov]. This legislation was drafted because of the increase of near misses and actual accidents involving emergency vehicles, tow trucks and highway maintenance equipment. The legislation increases the fines and adds possible prison time for incidents where someone has put a first responder life at danger along our roadways. We are asking to please contact your local state assembly person and state senator. upport and each time the bill has either not come out of Senator Strobel’s committee or was never brought to the floor for a vote.
We as a conglomerate of first responders and departments contact Senator Strobel and our local assembly members we can get things done.
as your department holds your “appreciation/awards banquets” that Badger Firefighters Association is willing to honor those with 25, 50 or 60 years of service, along with a chief officer [Captain and above] with a recognition award. In addition we will be looking for your nominations for firefighter of the year, emergency medical responder meritorious service awards. Our Heroism Award is intended to recognize and honor those civilians or first responder or member of your department for heroic actions that had a positive effect on someone. These awards can be given at your banquet by an officer of the BFA and at our Annual Banquet on Sunday, April 26.
Our attendance for the Forest Reeder Making A Difference Seminar was not what we had hoped for. However those of us that attended learned much from this outstanding leader in American Fire Service.
The training committee would appreciate to hear from our members as to what type of classes you want us to provide. Contact Paul Fahey, Mike Auer, Tony Burgard or Ron Naab with your suggestions.
St. Lawrence Fire Company
Is Proud to Host the
65th Annual Badger Firefighter’s Association
This year the bowling tournament will take place at Kettle Moraine Bowl located at 1021 E Commerce Blvd, Slinger, WI 53086. The tournament will take place this year on Saturdays and Sundays from February 8th, 2020 until February 16th, 2020.
Completed entries and all monies are to be mailed NO LATER THAN January 18th, 2020 to:
Entry Form: St. Lawrence Entry Form
St. Lawrence Fire Company
Attn: Dan Wolf
4955 Hwy 175
Hartford, WI 53027
Please make checks payable to: St. Lawrence Fire Company
Please get your entry forms in ASAP to reserve your dates for bowling. The team captain listed on the entry form will be notified via email of dates and times you are scheduled to bowl.
We will also be putting together an ad book for the event. Please see the form included with this packet regarding different sizes and prices. Please email any artwork to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for placing an ad in the book is January 18th, 2020. Please send payment along with the ad book form to the address above.
Ad Book Form: St. Lawrence Badger Bowling Ad Book Form
All monies raised by the event will be used towards buying vehicle stabilization tools.
Thanks in advance and Good Luck!
St. Lawrence Fire Company