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Fire Department Reaches Out Using Social MediaSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Story By Lex Gray


WAUSAU - You can find out all sorts of things on Facebook.

Who's single, who had a good bracket, what your coworker had for breakfast.

But now you can get information that might help you avoid a traffic jam or even keep you safe.

The Wausau Fire Department is on Facebook.

Office Assistant Mindy Walker started posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter in March.

"The idea was to get safety information out to our residents," Walker said. "Let them know if there were any road closures or fires in an area, for them to plan accordingly and travel around that area."

Before, the department had been limited to the local newspaper for notifications.

But social media is faster and more flexible.

"Everyone seems to be going more towards the technology," Walker said. "We're reaching a lot more people this way and they're sharing it with their friends."

Walker also used the pages to recruit new firefighters.

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Volunteers Document WildlifeSubmitted: 06/24/2016

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MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.

"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.

"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.

The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.

"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.

Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.

"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.

Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.

"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.

Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.

The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

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