After 150 years of service the De Pere fire department has gone through many large changes.
Despite these changes, the department uses its history to prepare for the future.
"We always grow from the big events we have to get a little bit better," said battalion chief Brett Jansen.
There's been several large fires in De Pere that have molded the town's history. Jansen said the last major one unlocked a new method to battling fires in downtown.
"It allowed us to put in dry hydrants which connect right to the river," said Jansen.
Those hydrants allow the department to take water from the Fox River and pump it up to an active scene. A technological advancement that is a far cry from the humble beginnings of the fire department back more than a century ago. Gone are the days of simple coats and boats. In their place, firefighters have full structural gear that Jansen said has helped them save countless lives on the job.
WGBA-TV NBC 26 Green Bay
Although he had just turned 20 on April 26, Riley Daniel Ray Huiras had an impact on his community that "went far beyond his 20 years of life."
"Once you met him, you didn't forget him," Grand Rapids Police Chief Melvin Pedersen said.
Huiras, the son of Kevin and Tami Huiras, was an Eagle Scout, played the violin and the piano, worked for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters baseball team, volunteered as an auxiliary officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department and was a firefighter with the Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department.
"His greatest passion is the betterment of others through police work and firefighting," his obituary said.
Huiras died Wednesday from a brain aneurysm. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church, 441 Garfield St., Wisconsin Rapids. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune - Metered Site
Milwaukee firefighters responded to Milwaukee's "ill-secured, long-vacant Northridge Mall" Wednesday, Aug. 10 for the fourth fire in less than three weeks.
Wednesday's fire was upgraded to a second alarm due to the size and "decrepit condition of building." Fire officials said fast work by first responders brought the fire under control. When firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring from the old food court area.
"This is extremely important because advanced fire in this building is a firefighter killer, and that's very well known in the fire service," said Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski. After putting out the fire, officials began a search of the "massive structure."
A similar incident happened back on July 19. That fire was arson, and damage was estimated at approximately $200,000. Lipski said his firefighters reported it was "one of the hottest fires they've ever fought."
WITI-TV FOX 6 Milwaukee
Voters in Kenosha and Racine saw similar referendum questions when it came to funding public safety, but different results came from the two cities just about 10 miles apart.
Both referendums included funding for new police officers. In Racine, additional public safety measures were included. In Kenosha, the referendum also supported new firefighter positions. In Racine, the referendum was voted down with 56% of voters opposing it. In Kenosha, the referendum was passed with 53% of voters in support of it.
Racine 12th District Alderman Henry Perez was one of the "no" votes in his city.
"I, for example, voted no because I know the city can handle the [reallocation] of the money they have right now to address the need. And it's not fair to have our community have to contribute to what we would probably do anyway," Perez said.
WTMJ-TV NBC 4 Milwaukee