Rhinelander Fire Department repurposes house for training
Story By Lex Gray
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander firefighters trained for a fire in a real house today. A house on the corner of Frederick and Baird will be knocked down in October.
The Rhinelander Fire Department is using it for training the whole month of September.
They're filling it with fog, then sending firefighters in to do search and rescue.
"Having a real house like this is important because we don't know the layout," said Deputy Chief Dale Wege. "So when we do our search and rescue stuff, that's what it would be in a real house. We don't know what the houses look like. You learn to just right hand search or left hand search, and you need to be good at that."
Eighteen firefighters from the department will train at the house. They also practice putting ladders up and ventilating the house.
The material they use to smoke the house out is safe for firefighters and neighbors, unlike actually setting it on fire.
"Most people would like us to burn the buildings, but with the amount of asbestos and close exposures, we might end up causing more damage than we are doing anything to learn. Fires are bad enough," Wege said.
The fire department didn't have to pay to use the house.
PHILLIPS - About seven years ago, a driver killed a pedestrian walking across Lake Avenue, the main street in downtown Phillips. It was dark and misty that night, and the walker was trying to cross in the middle of a block.
But pedestrians are often at risk in Northwoods downtowns, even on sunny days, and even when they're using crosswalks.
HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.
NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.
Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.
"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."
Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.
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