With the resignation of half of Lewis County Fire District 1’s volunteers in the past few months, residents of the Onalaska area have expressed concerns that the losses would lead to increased emergency response times and a threat to community safety.
On Thursday, residents said those fears have now become a reality.
“I have a medically fragile toddler at home. I called 911,” resident Carolyn Wendt said. “It took over 23 minutes for someone to respond for a respiratory distressed child. In town. Just right here.” She thanked the people who eventually responded and said they did a great job. She said her concern had nothing to do with the first responders’ abilities.
“It has to do with the support they need to be able to do that job,” she said.