Wisconsin News

Friday, May 24, 2019

Wisconsin lawmakers take aim at potentially toxic chemicals

Some Wisconsin legislators are pushing to curtail the use of firefighting foams that contain potentially toxic chemicals and establish standards that limit how much of the substances can safely exist in the state's groundwater, air and soil. Firefighting foam can contain polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are man-made chemicals that research suggests can decrease female fertility, increase the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women and lower birth weights. PFAS have been used for decades in a range of products, including foam, non-stick cookware, fast-food wrappers and stain-resistant sprays. The chemicals have been drawing more scrutiny as potentially toxic contaminants in recent years. Tyco Fire Products discovered in 2013 that soil and well contamination on its Marinette fire training property contained PFAS. In 2017, the company acknowledged that the chemicals had spread beyond the facility. A month later the company began distributing bottled water to residents whose private wells may have been contaminated.

Kimberly schools provide counseling to students, staff connected to fallen Appleton firefighter

The district where a fallen Appleton firefighter's children attend school is providing counseling and other services in the wake of his death. Mitchell Lundgaard, a 14-year veteran of the Appleton Fire Department, was shot and killed May 15 after responding to a medical call that authorities said escalated into a shootout between the patient and police. Lundgaard was the first Appleton firefighter to die in the line of duty in nearly 90 years. Appleton Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen confirmed Lundgaard's children attend school in the Kimberly Area School District. Nicole Noonan, the district's marketing and community coordinator, said in a statement that Kimberly schools are providing services to students and staff in need. The district declined to identify Lundgaard's children as students, citing privacy concerns.
Appleton Post-Gazette & Post Crescent.com

Police: 1 juvenile, 2 others arrested in connection with Bond Park fire

Janesville police arrested three suspects, including one juvenile, in connection with a fire in the bathroom at Bond Park. According to a release from the Janesville Police Department, officers responded to the fire at 6:01 p.m. Thursday at the park on the city's west side. The release said witnesses were able to describe the three males and a vehicle involved. Officers were able to locate the suspects several blocks from the park, according to the release. Jalon Brown, 18, is facing arson and obstruction charges. Michael Guzman, 17, is facing arson and felony bail jumping charges. Additionally, a 14-year-old juvenile is facing an arson charge. Damages are estimated to be around $5,000, according to police.
WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

Girl offers firetruck ride to classmates displaced by Portage house fire

Olive Preuss, 7, ignited Portage firefighters’ hearts Wednesday when she offered a priceless gift to a couple classmates after a local family was displaced by a house fire two weeks ago. Passing up the chance to ride inside a firetruck to St. Mary’s Catholic School on Wednesday morning, Olive asked the Portage Fire Department to instead take her friends Easton Van Zile, 7, and Avery Van Zile, 5. “It made me happy,” she said. “Because I was helping a friend.” Portage Fire Department Capt. Mike Nachreiner said Olive’s act of kindness made her the heroine of the day and deserved recognition, rather than the firefighters she and her friends look up to as heroes. Easton said he liked meeting firefighters - and they made sure to ask him how he was doing. The engineers flashed the truck lights and honked the horn, and Easton said he loved it.
Portage Daily Register

No injuries reported in structure fire on Madison’s north side

PHOTOS: Madison police and fire teams are investigating after two people forced entry into a northside apartment and allegedly started a fire. According to a release from Madison police, the incident was reported at 9:41 p.m. Thursday. The fire was at a four-unit apartment building in the 1300 block of Ruskin Street. Fire officials said the fire was contained and the road was cleared as of 11:20 p.m. Thursday. Madison police issued a report at 1:05 a.m. Friday and said the incident is being considered property damage. The victim told police two male suspects forced their way into the apartment unit. The victim ran into the bathroom and locked the door, the release said. The victim told them began smelling smoke and was able to escape from the apartment by climbing out of the bathroom window, according to police.
WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

Thursday, May 23, 2019

In the wake of Appleton firefighter’s death, paramedics say they routinely face dangers

Jerry Biggart is fully aware of the dangers paramedics face when they're on the job. “A lot of people go to work and it’s a relatively routine job,” said Biggart, a firefighter with the Oak Creek Fire Department near Milwaukee. “Every time that tone goes off, we have no idea what it’s going to be." Sometimes, the danger is obvious — an active-shooter situation, for example, or a building collapse, or even a car crash in heavy traffic. Other times, though, the danger isn't as apparent, such as on a routine medical call. “We don’t routinely wear body armor. We don’t have weapons," Biggart said. "We’re there to deal with the medical problem at hand." But even those seemingly normal calls have the potential to become dangerous. That became obvious in Appleton last week, when Mitchell Lundgaard, 36, a 14-year veteran of the Appleton Fire Department, died after shots rang out after he and other paramedics and police responded to a medical emergency.
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Man reportedly unresponsive after Wednesday night crash in Racine

A Ford Explorer and a Honda Civic collided just after 11 p.m. on a rainy Wednesday night at the corner of State Street and Douglas Avenue, just west of Downtown, resulting in an apparent serious injury to a passenger in the Explorer. Initial reports to dispatchers indicates that an individual was unresponsive and trapped in the Explorer and the Honda Civic may have caught fire. The Racine Fire Department responded with a full entrapment response, which included an aerial truck company and special equipment truck. Paramedics were seen lifting a male occupant of the Ford out of the vehicle and onto a stretcher. Radio reports indicate that the man was alive, but unresponsive, when paramedics left the scene for the hospital at about 11:30 p.m. with the ambulance's emergency lights flashing and siren blaring.
Racine Journal Times

Project Six providing Appleton firefighters with meals

Members of the community continue to step up in this tough time of mourning one week after firefighter Mitch Lundgaard died in the line of duty. Fallen firefighter remembered as selfless public servant The community has stood together throughout the last week and it continues to stand together. "We needed to do something for the fire department and knowing that food is always welcomed,” says Leah Suprise. “That was our first thing.” Leah Suprise is a coordinator with Project Six, a group that was created to thank law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS for all they do in our community. The group stepped up to support Appleton firefighters, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. "Every meal every day, plus some,” says Leah. “They get snacks and root beer floats and all that other stuff, too.”

Dane County Thanks Emergency Medical Service Personnel During National EMS Week

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is recognizing the efforts of the highly trained men and women who work to serve their communities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with prompt and effective emergency services. This recognition comes as communities across the country celebrate EMS Week and honor those in the chain of survival. “Through great coordination and teamwork, Dane County’s emergency dispatchers, fire, police, and medical service providers have been able to save the lives of many members in our community,” said County Executive Parisi. “I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to serve.” 2019 marks 42 years that Dane County EMS has provided vital public service, with the EMS system responding to 41,600 calls for service in 2018. Over 1,000 emergency medical personnel in Dane County are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Approximately half of those individuals are volunteers.
Dane County

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