Oneida County Emergency Management pre-plans for a disaster Submitted: 09/29/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - Natural disasters don't happen often in the Northwoods.

But Oneida County Emergency Management needs to make sure their fire departments know what to do if it does.

Oneida County Airport wasn't just for planes this weekend.

Fire departments and more than 40 firefighters trained for a natural disaster Saturday morning.

They practice every other month, but nothing like this.

"This is the first time we actually incorporated MABAS, our Mutual Aid Box Alarm System into a water shuttle drill." said Oneida County Emergency Management director, Ken Kortenhof.

MABAS is a system that Wisconsin adopted in 2006.

"Basically what that does, we pre-plan them ahead of time and they don't have to worry about deciding at the time which units to call and where they're coming from," Kortenhof said.

"It's a good system and it works well with the fire service."

Five different stations set up on the airports runway.

First stop was checking in.

The second station was incident command post.

"Right now they're directing the different tanker trucks and different tender trucks where to go and how to shuttle water." said Kortenhof.

After that it's off to the lake to fill the tankers.

Each truck can hold about one thousand gallons of water.

Then they have to find a place to put the extra water.

"When we're at a fire or something, we have what's called drop tanks. The tenders come in and they fill those drop tanks up and then those drop tanks feed the engines. The engines spray on to the fire." Kortenhof said.

Firefighters say the training helps departments communicate better.

"We have a number of different departments that specifically don't work together," Kortenhof said.

"The MABAS system and exercises like this give them the ability to work together and to practice what they're doing. So in the event they have to in real life, it goes a lot smoother."

A smoother response could save lives during a disaster.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


BLACKWELL - The Blackwell Job Corps Center in Forest County will celebrate its 50th anniversary next week. Students and staff will celebrate the occasion on Monday, November 30th.

They'll have a cake cutting ceremony at 3:00 p.m. The community is invited to join the students and staff in the recreation hall from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Not everyone has time to go to the gym during the holiday season, but there still things you can do to stay active at home.

"While you're watching T.V., you can be on the ground doing sit-ups or planks –just anything," says Sheri Gaber, a fitness specialist at personal trainer at Tone Zone Fitness in Rhinelander. "Just keep moving. Keep that sedentary time down."

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - An economic group in Vilas County can thank a local casino for a recent donation.

The Lake of the Torches Resort Casino presented members of the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation (VCEDC)with a $2,000 donation.

The donation happened earlier this month.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - Ringing in the holiday season can be a special time of year for families.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Shops in downtown Minocqua want a new way to draw customers to their businesses. The restart of the Minocqua Island Business Association comes at a perfect time, with the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Those businesses want to team up to attract people to downtown Minocqua. It's a more specific mission than the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court says state troopers can stop motorists for littering.

The court ruled Wednesday in a case involving Daniel S. Iverson of Amery. Iverson was driving in La Crosse in 2014 when a state trooper pulled him over after he saw someone throw a cigarette out of the vehicle in violation of the state's littering law and cited Iverson for drunken driving.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Within a few months, Merrill Schools will officially protect transgender students under its nondiscrimination policy. Transgender students have received statewide attention lately—not for who they are, but for which bathroom they use.

Merrill is among the districts paying attention to the state conversation closely. Right now, Merrill expects its students to use the bathroom that matches the gender they declare during school registration.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here