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NEWS STORIES

Firefighter students get firsthand experience battling fire Submitted: 10/26/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


MERRILL - Fire fighters know how to handle a fire by using their experience.

The only safe way to do that is in a controlled environment.

You can't learn this in a classroom.

"You can't really set a fire like that inside of a classroom because of the building." said probationary firefighter, Bret Richardson.

"But out here, the facility the way its set up is that we can practice that in a safe controlled environment that you really couldn't get inside of a classroom."

16 students from the Northcentral Technical College learned what they should do when battling a fire.

"We learned about vertical ventilation and hydraulic ventilation in class this past week. As you can see behind me they're starting the hydraulic ventilation," student, William McCarron said.

"Sometimes that window will open and the water will start coming out. Just pulling smoke out of the room so we can see a little bit better."

This is the first these students have ever dealt with fire like this.

"They've learned about it in a classroom for the past 60 hours," NTC Fire and EMS director, Dough Jennings said.

"Now we're taking them through evolution that will expose them to heat, gases, visibility issues; practice for the real thing."

But houses aren't the only thing that catch fire.

"They're either going to have a car on fire, an engine fire. You handle those differently than you do a building fire." said Jennings.

"It gets pretty warm in there. You can feel it through your coat. The higher up we reach, you can feel a lot more." Richardson said.

Students learned they need to stay low.

If you're ever in this situation, you should do the same thing.

"Stay on the ground. We're trained to go around the rooms and check," McCarron said.

"If you're too high on a table or something like that and we can't reach it, we'll most likely miss over you."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/30/2015

- Find out how a local group is trying to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly population.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group wants to protect an endangered butterfly. The Monarch March works to save the beautiful monarch butterflies.

The butterfly is in danger because people remove milkweed from their yards. Milkweed is also removed from public ground spaces as well.

Monarchs need milkweed for food and a place to lay their eggs.

"That's the problem with the monarch; it only survives on milkweed," said Paula Larson, founder of Monarch March. "So every time you cut down milkweed, every time the highway mows down all the milkweed on the sides of the roads, they are killing hundreds of caterpillars."

A major part of the work done by Monarch March is to collect eggs and raise them until they become butterflies. The process takes about four to five weeks.

Leaders of the group believe everyone can do simple things to protect the butterflies.

"Do not cut down milkweed; plant milkweed. It's really good for gardens to become a butterfly habitat," said Larson.

The new butterflies should hatch in about two weeks. An exhibit with the caterpillars can be seen at Curran Professional Park in Rhinelander.

For more information, check out Monarch March on Facebook.

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MADISON - Republican state senators are met behind closed doors Tuesday to talk about the three main issues that have held up passage of a Wisconsin state budget for the past month.

State Sen. Paul Farrow said Tuesday that senators planned to talk about roads funding, changes to the prevailing wage and the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks stadium plan.

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Columbus police say Ava Ellis was hit accidentally June 19 when an officer fired at a charging dog at a home in suburban Whitehall. Police say another relative had flagged down the officer for help after Ava's mother cut herself on glass.

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FERGUSON, MO - A Justice Department report summary has found across-the-board flaws in police's response last summer to the protests in Ferguson, including antagonizing crowds and violating free-speech rights.

The Associated Press obtained the summary, which cites "vague and arbitrary" orders to keep protesters moving that violated their rights of assembly and free speech.

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RHINELANDER - A local doctor proudly calls the Northwoods his home.

Some of Doctor Greg Michals' life experiences led him to make the decision to become a chiropractor.

"There was these car accidents that I got involved with in high school," Michals said. "It was three of them I got in senior year. Usually I tell people I wasn't driving; I had a poor taste in friends."

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