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Vol. 1 - No. 2 February/March 2014

Phone (515) 604-6400

The ofcial publication of the Minnesota State Fire Department Association

A candle burning in the garage may have caused a re that destroyed a Hutchinson house on Nov. 25. Fire Chief Brad Emans (pictured) retired on Dec. 31 after 23 years in the position. He was with the Hutchinson Fire Department since 1975. See photo and story inside. Photo by Terry Davis, Hutchinson Leader.


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Two Families Displaced

Two families lost their homes Wednesday night when the southeast Brainerd duplex apartment they were living in caught re
By Jennifer Stockinger Brainerd Dispatch The American Red Cross assisted the two families - consisting of ve adults and two children and an infant - on the 500 block of 13th Street Southeast in Brainerd with disaster relief for immediate recovery needs, such as shelter, clothing, food and emotional support. No one was injured in the re reported at 9:51 p.m. Heavy smoke was seen throughout the building and we entered into extremely hot conditions, Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said. We found a dryer in the basement (that appeared to be the cause) and we were relatively able to quickly knock it down. The re got into the wall and we were able to get to it and extinguish it. Brainerd fire had about 17-20 reghters responding to the re in the extreme cold weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service, Brainerd had an 18 below wind chill. Two engines and a ladder truck were used. This is the third house fire Brainerd Fire and Rescue has responded to in the past month that has left families without a home. There was a re on Nov. 11 at Northridge Construction and Woodworking shop and destroyed the cabinet shop and the attached home owned by Krissy and Tom Andrew. The re at the Andrews home left the couple and their two children homeless. Then on Nov. 29 a split-level home on Travis Trail off Highway 371, also was destroyed by re. A family of four was left homeless. Stunek said with the extreme cold temperatures, heavy snow and early winter the lakes area is experiencing, that people are turning up the heat to stay warm and the extra heating sources can increase the probability of res. Stunek said the wood stoves, replaces and the extra extension cords can be hazardous. Slunek advised people to use caution when using the extra heating sources as The last thing we want is for someone to get hurt. Capt. Terry Sluss with the American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region agreed with Stunek that the early winter weather has caused more res. Sluss said theyve assisted to six or seven families in the past month with disaster relief. Ken Bertin of the American Red Cross has helped Sluss with the past two res in the Brainerd area. When asked if the American Red Cross is able to assist all the families in need, Sluss said, We can always use more resources to help. Sluss said the best donation to help families is cash, but gift cards also will be accepted. Sluss said the American Red Cross does not have the capacity to sort through clothes. People can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by going to or call 1-800-Red-Cross. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter at 1900 Division St. W., Unit 1, Bemidji, MN 56001 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Above: Flashing emergency strobes light up the night as reghters battle re as well as extreme weather conditions in the form of snow and sub-zero temperatures on Dec. 11. The re displaced two families. Below: Heavy smoke was seen throughout the building as reghters arrived on the scene at this re in Brainerd. Photos by Kelly Humphrey of the Brainerd Dispatch.

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Isanti Fire Chief Randy Polzin recently presented John Bartz with an axe in appreciation of his 36 years of service as an Isanti Fireman, and most recently the Chairman of the Isanti Area Joint Powers Agreement Operating Fire Department. John and his family have been strong supporters of the Fire Department, and have devoted countless hours over the last 36 years. Fire Department milestones in Johns 36 years include the upbringing of the Isanti Firemans annual PRCA sanctioned professional rodeo, of which will run its 38th consecutive performance this July, as well as the formation of the Isanti Fire District in 1999.



Monday morning re destroys riverside home

The Delaware street re started with a candle in the garage.
By Terry Davis Hutchinson Leader A re Monday morning is believed to have totally destroyed a Hutchinson house along the Crow River at 1318 Delaware St. N.W., but fortunately there were no injuries. The re, called in at about 9:47 a.m., initially started in the area of the garage on the west end of the home listed to Nghia Nyugen, who has lived there at least 20 years. Fire Chief Brad Emans said Nyugen reported having a candle burning in the garage when he went to the restroom inside. When he returned, the re had started. Nyugen and a woman were seen moving four cars out of the driveway and garage prior to reghters arriving. A fth car, an Oldsmobile parked in front of the garage, was damaged by the re. Emergency personnel blocked State Highway 7/22 for several hours because a water hose was connected to a hydrant north of the highway near Excelsior Homes. A hydrant closer to the home was on a dead-end water line and had only minimal pressure. The re departments pumper truck, the rst on the scene, had an internal pipe burst early in the response and was unable to provide its usual water capacity, Emans said. Fireghters had to bring the departments ladder truck forward to provide pumping capacity. Emans said Nyugen told him the home was not insured and that they didnt have relatives in the area to stay with. The American Red Cross was called to assist. Ninety minutes after the initial call, reghters were in what is referred to as overhaul mode. Emans said the re had spread to the attic, making it too dangerous to have reghters inside. The ladder truck was used to ght the blaze from above at that point.

Hutchinson reghters battle a re at 1318 Delaware St. NW. The re started in the garage, being ignited by a candle. Photo by Terry Davis, Hutchinson Leader.

Morris Home Gutted by Fire

The Morris Fire Department was called to a re on the west side of Morris on Friday afternoon. According to Fire Chief Dave Dydal, the re was reported at 903 Albany Avenue just after noon by a passerby. A nurse from the West Wind Village was doing house checks in the area and noticed smoke coming from the house. Early reports indicate that they tried to enter the home to see if anyone was inside. Dybdahl reports that once the front door was opened, it introduced oxygen to the re and created a backdraft. The rst re truck on the scene reported heavy re and smoke coming from the back side of the house. Fire crews quickly stretched a attack line, made entry through the garage area and pushed the re back towards the east side of the house to save the main structure. The re had all ready vented itself, breaking the back windows before reghters arrived, according to Dybdal. Below zero temperatures on Friday complicated matter, as everything the water touched became ice within minutes. The homeowner had left the residence approximately three hours before the re was reported. Dybdal is thankful no one was injured in the blaze. The cause of the re was electrical, and is believed to have started in a baseboard heater. The estimated loss is between $150,000 and $160,000. Morris had three re engines, a heavy rescue truck and a ladder truck on the scene. The Donnelly re department also responded with an engine truck and extra re ghters. The Hancock re department also was on standby at the Morris re station. Also responding to the scene were the Stevens County Ambulance, Stevens County Sheriffs Department, Morris Police Department and the Minnesota Deputy State Fire Marshal.

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Volunteer Fireghter Relief Association (VFRA) Information

DeeDee Jankovich, MSFDA Executive Administrator, contacted me about doing articles for the MN Fireghter. I told her I would be honored to contribute. So starting with the next issue I will be covering issues pertaining to MN VFRAs such as bylaws, administration and legislative issues. As this is my rst article for the MN Fireghter, I felt I should give some background on myself. I am a retired reghter from the Apple Valley FD and also retired career reghter from Richeld FD. During my 22 years with Apple Valley I have been involved with the relief association since 1981 and served as Treasurer, President and currently serve as Administrator. Since the 80s I have taught relief association issues at re schools, started the relief training at MSFDA conferences in 1998 and continue to do training at conferences and re schools today. Today I have created a service of assisting relief associations with any help they may need. This includes bylaw review, assisting with administration issues and answering questions they may have. I have served on the Minnesota Ofce of the State Auditor (OSA) Volunteer Fire Relief Association Working Group (VFRAWG) since its inception seven years ago. The Working Group brings together the major volunteer re relief association stakeholders to work on legislative changes to make the pension process easier and more effective. Information on the Working Group bill for 2014 can be found at; http:// aspx?page=reliefworkinggroup. If you have issues that you feel the Working Group should consider or questions on the current issues, please feel free to contact me. One item that has come up this year at the VFRAWG is training for VFRAs. A committee has been formed to study the issue and we will continue to brainstorm this year. Some of the issues are: What topics would be of interest to VFRA Boards, What locations around the state would work to hold classes and What day of the week and time of day would work best for the most people to attend training. If you have suggestions on these issues, please give me a call or send an email. If you have questions about issues in your relief association, I am available to assist you or give you some guidance, just give me a call or send an email. I am also willing to come to your location to discuss issues with your board for the cost of mileage, no other fee. I am also available to attend regional meetings if your Region is interested. I can discuss volunteer re relief association issues or provide training. Feel free to contact me at 612-5986369 or by email at dganeld@ My goal is to assist volunteer reghter relief associations in being better able to operate their relief association. I have SAMPLE application forms available for membership, deferred retirement and retirement with the Safe Harbor Notice. I am offering these at no cost. Simply email me at with your request for the application forms. Please include your name, department and contact number and I will email them to you on a word document to allow you to make changes and add or delete information. I am very pleased to submit articles to the MN Fireghter in order to help VFRA board members and I look forward to hearing from many of you. Dave Ganeld 612-598-6369

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On December 18, at 15:24 hours, the Courtland Fire Department was dispatched to a heavy smoke and ames call in Blue Earth County on Hwy. 68. Upon arrival, reghters found a post-frame building lled with rewood to be heavily involved. Upon recognizing the logistical complications of a remote rural area and the many chords of wood that were stored in the building, Courtland Fire Chief Dave Ubel called for back up water and apparatus from Nicollet, Lake Crystal, and New Ulm Fire Departments. Jason Walters (owner) and his Dad Rich both used backhoes to move the rewood around while reghters dumped approximately 25,000 gallons of water on it to be sure any smoldering embers were out before clearing the scene. Many people in southern Minnesota remember the Cat & Fiddle Supper Club. It was a popular place from the 1950s through the 1970s. The main building was not damaged and the scene was cleared at 18:28 hours. Submitted by Courtland Fire Department.



Two homes lost in res in Hubbard County this week

By Sarah Smith Park Rapids Enterprise A rural Nevis couple lost everything Wednesday night in an inferno that two re departments battled in subzero conditions. East Hubbard County, the Akeley Fire Department, and Nevis Fire Department, were not able to save the home of James and Remy Tauber, off 190th Street. A re Thursday consumed a mobile home in Hubbard County the following day in Hart Lake Township. According to Nevis Fire Chief Kerry Swenson, the rst call came in just before 6 p.m. at the Tauber home. He said the retired couple just barely escaped the ames. The re was started by a heat lamp used to keep the family pets warm. Akeley Fire Chief Lee Johnson said 18-22 reghters and eight trucks braved the conditions until after 9 p.m. It was cold, Johnson said. Complicating the already difcult task was poor access to the house and a line of cars parked between the driveway and home. We really lucked out. There was just enough room to get back there, Johnson said. Everything that could have gone wrong did. Fireghters ran out of water numerous times as they jockeyed trucks in and out of the driveway. Akeley called Nevis in under a mutual aid agreement, Swenson said. White Oak Township is in Akeleys zone of coverage. Pumps froze, ngers froze. All the tankers froze up before we were done, Johnson said. Everything freezes and no matter how much you try to keep water moving, the metal hose parts freeze, Swenson said. Akeley responds to around six structure res a year, but it varies, Johnson said. We prefer it when its warmer, he dead-panned. Swenson took the couple to a Park Rapids motel and planned to meet with them Thursday to gauge their needs. They were uninsured, he said. The department has a small fund to aid re victims, Swenson said, but its not a large amount. All the animals but one cat was saved. Fireghters were called back to the scene Friday morning when a hot spot ared back up. Thursday afternoon Lakeport and Lake George reghters battled - and lost - a re at a mobile home in Hart Lake Township. Although temps were above zero, reghting crews were still cursed by lack of water, proper hose ttings, manpower and access to the scene off 315th Avenue. The house was a total loss. Crews at the scene said the female homeowner was on her way to the hospital, but it was not clear if she was injured or being seen as a pre-caution. Her name was not available by the time the Enterprise went to press Friday morning.

A house on 190th Street burned after a heating lamp ignited materials. East Hubbard County, the Akeley Fire Department and Nevis Fire Department, were not able to save the home. Photo by Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise.

MARCH 12, 2014

Registration begins at 7:00 am with a speaker program at 7:45 a.m. and appointments with legislators to begin at 9:00. Registration and meeting is at The Labor and Professional entre 411 Main St., St. Paul, 55102 with free parking, continental breakfast, and shuttles running to the Capitol. ** SHIRTS: We are using the same red Fire Service Day at the Capitol shirts as last year. All participants must wear the designated re shirt while at the Capitol. REGISTRATION: To register for the conference, please complete the attached form (only one registrant per form, please). Mail, along with your check for $25 per attendee, registration or $60 for registration and shirt.

Mail to: MPFF, 8100 Wayzata Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55426-1338
2014 Fire Service Day at the Capitol

legislative conference registration form March 12, 2014

Please complete this registration form (ONE NAME PER FORM) and return to the MPFF (please print)
NAME: __________________________________________________________________________________________ LAST FIRST

HOME ADDRESS:_________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: _____________________________ STATE: ______ ZIP: ________ Phone: __________________________ AFFILIATION: MPFF ____ MSFCE ____ MSFDA ____ Indicate Organization or Local Name & Number/City ____________________________________________________ Legislators (District in which you reside) STATE Senator ____________________________________________ STATE Representative ______________________________________

Registration Only: $25 Registration and Shirt: $60 Shirt Size (if ordering) Size M L XL XXL Total Amount Enclosed __________ (Make check payable to MPFF) Registration Deadline is January 31, 2014



Certication Levels Offered for Chief Ofcer Ranks

By David Schliek Do you require members of your organization to be certied at different levels of prociency based on their duties/responsibilities? Are there individuals within your organization that have reached the top of the certication ladder within their areas of responsibility? Do you lead by example, and believe you model behavior expected from subordinates? The Minnesota Fire Service Certication Board is now offering a new set of challenges for chief ofcers. After several months of development, as well as accreditation reviews by IFSAC and the ProBoard, Fire Ofcer III, Fire Ofcer IV, and Fire Instructor III are now available to interested individuals. These levels are offered in a more individualized format. Interested parties should call the Certication Ofce to begin the process. These exams are very similar to others, in that participants are expected to complete a written exam, as well as practical skills. Written exams are in the same form as previous levels of examination. What is different about these levels is that the practicals are Take Home, with a 90 day window for completion. Participants will be assigned an evaluator at the beginning of the practical process. That evaluator will provide guidance through the 90 day period, in that they will provide the expectations required of the skills requirements. Once the skills are completed, the participant will meet with the evaluator to defend the body of work. Certication is based on successful completion on all three activities. The process is very intense, and will provide challenging opportunities to those participating. The exams are referenced to the most current editions of Professional Qualications for Fire Ofcers NFPA 1021, and/or Professional Qualications for Fire Instructors NFPA 1041. Interested parties should review the appropriate standard(s) and be familiar with the job performance requirements (JPRs) listed for each of the levels. Reviewing expectations written in the standard will help you decide if you are ready to pursue these levels. I would ask that interested individuals take a few minutes and go through this exercise. It will be difcult to complete the skills stations in the 90 day window if you have not had experience in the area of competency required. Written exam questions are referenced to the Jones and Bartlett Ofcer text. Several JPRs from the standard will be randomly generated and used to make up individual skills examinations. Practical skill stations should reect real life experience. Actual experiences will be easier for the candidate defend when meeting with the evaluator. Again, one will not be able to talk their way through practical stations without experience within the JPR being tested. As the MFSCB introduces these higher levels of certication, the expertise of the evaluators is very much at the forefront. With that said, the evaluator pool for these levels is quite small. Not that this will slow the process but, improve it by adding integrity to the quality of review. I believe there are a number of individuals within Minnesotas re service that have the experience to successfully complete these certication levels. I offer the challenge, knowing several will answer it. Good luck and I wish you the best.


Nathan Potter
In just 30 years, Nate Potter touched a lifetime of people. He had a knack for bringing people together. Anyone who met Nate would tell you, his smile and sense of fun was always there and guaranteed to cheer up your day. Nathan Scott Potter was raised on the family century farm northwest of Springeld that he later farmed with his father. He graduated from Springeld High School, attended college in Mankato, and graduated from Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, MN with degrees in Farm Operations Management and Agricultural Business. Nate loved the solitude of the farm life and also believed deeply in community. Nate traveled the nation for the Pork Producers and worked major events on both coasts. He was a re ghter with the Springeld Fire Department and a barn manager for the Brown County Fair Swine Barn. Since age 6, Nate participated in the Springeld Nativity Pageant in several roles over the years. Nate had a real passion for the outdoors from shing to hunting and trapping. Nate would take his grandmother deer hunting each year. Nate loved taking his motorcycle out on the open road for fresh air. One of Nates biggest passions was the annual display put on by Potters Pyros. For anyone who ever attended this celebration of friendship and community through music and reworks, you never left disappointed, hungry, orthirsty. Nates life is celebrated by his family including: father & mother - Dennis & Lucy Potter (Springeld, MN); sister - Jessica Potter and her partner Jonathan ONeill (Hallandale, FL); sister - Erin (Potter) Lafferty, and her husband John, and her children Kierin & Kiera; grandmother Barbara Hunter (Windom, MN); and grandfather - Robert Potter (Springeld). He was preceded in death by his grandfather -

Clifford Hunter and grandmother - Lorraine Potter. In lieu of owers, a memorial donation may be given to either the Springeld Fire Department or Brown County 4H Extension livestock program. Donations can be sent to: The family of Nate Potter, Sturm Funeral Home, 407 N. Jackson PO Box 58, Springeld, MN 56087.

Matthew Charles Frantz

until his death. In early 1995, Matt met the love of his life, Jennifer Williams, and married her on Aug. 29, 1998, in Duluth. In 2000, Matt joined the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department and was named re chief in 2009. His passion for this particular organization and cause was deep and well known to all who knew him. Some of Matts closest and dearest friendships were formed with the men and women who fought res alongside him as volunteers with the re department. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved shing, hunting and camping. Mostly he loved doing all those things with members of his family and is missed deeply by many. He absolutely loved getting together with family and helped plan many gatherings throughout the years. He was a good son, who was very good to his mom and dad and very helpful. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bill and Luella Quade and Dorothy and Melvin Frantz; his uncle Rick Frantz; and cousins Joshua Alvar and Isaiah and Mason Alvar. Matt is survived by his wife, Jennifer; daughters Kirsten (Austin Hansen) and Madeline; mother Linda Quade of Duluth; father Timothy Frantz (Sharon Field) of Duluth; mother- and father-in-law, Lauralie and Rick Heckman of Superior; siblings Jason and Dawn Frantz and Eric and Tammy Frantz, all of Duluth, Adam and Tricia Frantz of Blaine, Minn., April Williams (Dan Thomas) of Superior; Roddi and Ryan Turgeson of Cameron, Wis., Nathaniel and Heather Khalar of Duluth and Casey Heckman of Superior; nieces and nephews Molly, Tyler, Ian, Josslyn, Grace, Addie, Elizabeth, Hailie, Aiden, Aaron, Cashton, Michael, Meg, Miley, Destiny and Brianna; great-nephew Lukas; and several cousins and many other relatives and friends. Matts family would like to thank the Midway Township First Responders for doing everything they could to help him. Visitation was held 4-7 p.m. with 6:30 p.m. wake prayers Friday in St. John's Church, 4230 St. John's Ave., Duluth, where visitation continued from 10 until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial Saturday. Military honors by the Duluth Honor Guard and Fire Honors followed. Memorials are preferred and may be directed to Matts family for Kirsten and Madelines education. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, (218) 727-3555.

Fireghters battle cold, blaze

The Wahpeton Fire Department responded to a blaze at the Bobcat plant located on the 210 Bypass early Monday morning, Jan. 6, according to the Wahpeton Daily News. According to Wahpeton Fire Chief Derek Miller, the re was called in at about 5:20 a.m. and was caused by a backup heating system. The system uses propane tanks and had a technical error. Miller said crews were on the scene for more than an hour, ghting to contain the re. He explained that two 1,000-gallon propane tanks were on re, but were a considerable distance from the plant. Fireghters had to control the valves so no ames would spread through different lines. Laura Ness Owens, director of communications, said both propane tanks were destroyed, but no damage occurred to the plant. There is no dollar estimate on the tank damage at this time, she said. Operations did go as planned at the plant, Ness Owens said, as the factory was up and running by 7 a.m. No injuries were reported during the incident. Wahpeton and Breckenridge Police Departments assisted the re department by controlling trafc. (The Wheaton Gazette, January 14, 2014, Wheaton, MN.)

Matthew Charles Frantz, 42, of Rice Lake Township, passed away unexpectedly while at work on Dec. 9, 2013, in Duluth. He was born June 8, 1971, in St. Paul and grew up in the Woodland neighborhood. Matt graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1989 and from Lake Superior College in Duluth in 1996 with a degree in re technology and administration. He served in the U.S. Army from 1991-93, during which time he served abroad in Korea. After that he was a reservist in the Army National Guard until 1998, when he achieved the rank of Sergeant. Matt was hired as a driver for UPS in 1994, and worked there



DeeDees Dish
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
3 (10 oz) cans condensed chicken broth 2 cups water cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed cup uncooked white rice cup nely chopped green onions cup margarine or butter cup all-purpose our teaspoon salt teaspoon poultry seasoning 1 /8 teaspoon pepper 2 cups half and half 1 cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled Instructions In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth and water. Add rice and onions. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes (or until rice is tender). Once the rice is cooked, there will be some additional broth do not drain. In a medium saucepan, melt margarine, stir in our, salt, seasoning, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in half and half with the butter/our mixture and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add this creamy mixture back into the saucepan with the rice/broth. Add remaining ingredients (chicken, bacon). Heat on low, stirring every once in a while, for at least a half an hour. Do not boil. The mixture will look thin, but the longer you heat the soup, the more the avors merry and the more it will thicken. This soup is best served after gently heating for an extended period of time (even a few hours) or the next day! For extra avor, add more poultry seasoning and/or bacon. ACROSS 1. Portable timepiece 6. Doesnt guzzle 10. Barbers job 14. Accustom 15. Length x width, for a rectangle 16. Fit 17. Line of latitude north of the south pole (2 wds) 20. Sartre novel 21. Most paltry 22. Grasp 24. Sea waves breaking on a shore 25. Appear 28. Al dente 30. Genetically change 34. Complain 36. Amnion covering the head at birth 38. Coniferous trees 39. List of chapters and where they appear (3 wds) 42. Untwist the strands of a rope 43. Air 44. Pink, as a steak 45. Seeds of a pea plant 47. Puts in stitches 49. The Joy Luck Club author 50. Commoner 52. Pro ___ 54. Check out clerks 58. Opening move in chess 62. Ready for battle (4 wds) 64. Lowlife 65. Georgetown athlete 66. Counters 67. ___ bag 68. Barely managed, with out 69. Narrow, thin, wood strips backing plaster DOWN 1. Withdraw gradually 2. ___ and the King of Siam 3. 1984 Peace Nobelist 4. 2005 Best Picture nominee 5. Concerning this 6. Cal. col. 7. Western blue ag, e.g. 8. River to the Rio Grande 9. Triangular bone at the base of the spine 10. More frugal 11. Dash 12. Misfortunes 13. Convene 18. Cotton fabric 19. Increase rapidly in number 23. Preliminary outline 25. Misbehave (2 wds) 26. Construction site sight 27. Small, Indian hand drum 29. Slimy, protective secretion 31. Small village in the Highland area of Scotland 32. Aquarium sh 33. Big Berthas birthplace 35. Speak irreverently of God 37. St. Anthony, notably 40. Lens cover? 41. Peaceful music for relaxation (2 wds) 46. Boil 48. Pertaining to a particular state, not the national government 51. Tolerate 53. Amorphous creature 54. Actors 55. Giovanna d___ (Verdi opera) 56. Blue books? 57. Eye afiction 59. Doozy 60. Allergic reaction 61. Get ___! 63. Weve been ___!

Answers on page 20



Two major pieces of legislation introduced in Congress

Legislation Introduced Clarifying Volunteers not Subject to Employer Mandate On December 10, legislation was introduced in the House by Representative Lou Barletta (RPA) and the Senate by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) clarifying that qualied emergency services volunteers will not be counted as employees under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). If enacted, the Protecting Volunteer Fireghters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 3685/S. 1798) would make clear that fire and EMS agencies will not be required to offer volunteer personnel health insurance, even if they receive other nominal benets. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers volunteers who receive nominal benets to be common law employees of the agencies that they serve. The PPACA requires large employers to provide full-time employees with health insurance coverage. Because it falls to the IRS to enforce the PPACA mandate that employers provide health insurance, many re and EMS departments could end up facing penalties starting in 2015 if they do not offer health insurance benets to their volunteers. In September, the NVFC sent the IRS a letter requesting clarication in the nal implementing regulations for the PPACA that volunteers will not be treated as employees under the law. Since then, Representatives Peter King (R-NY), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Chris Collins (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Lou Barletta (R-PA), and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) have followed up with similar formal letters to the IRS asking for clarication on behalf of the volunteer emergency services. As of now the IRS has not indicated how it will proceed, which prompted the introduction of H.R. 3685 and S. 1798. It is critically important that fire and EMS agencies not be forced to offer health insurance to volunteer personnel, said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. Agencies dont have the resources to provide health benets to their volunteers and individual volunteers have no expectation of receiving such benets from the agencies they serve. Id like to thank all of the bill sponsors from both parties for coming together and introducing this legislation. Co-sponsors of S. 1798 include Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (IME), and Mark Begich (D-AK). H.R. 3685 is co-sponsored by Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Scott Perry (R-PA), Glenn Thompson (RPA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), David P. Joyce (R-OH), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Austin Scott (R-GA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), David McKinley (R-WV), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Pitts (R-NY), Chris Collins (R-NY), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Walter Jones (R-NC), Andy Barr (R-KY), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Candice S. Miller (R-MI), Tom Marino (RPA), John Shimkus (R-IL), Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Todd Young (RIN), and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS). The NVFC issued an Action Alert on December 11, asking our members to contact their Representative and Senators to ask them to support H.R. 3685 and S. 1798 using our Capwiz system. More information will follow when Congress returns to session. Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act Introduced On December 12, Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Tom Latham (R-IA) introduced H.R. 3747, the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act (VRIPRA), which would exempt from income taxation all property tax benefits and up to $600 per year other types of benets that volunteer emergency responders receive as a reward for their service. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rosa DeLauro (DCT), Elizabeth Etsy (D-CT), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Ron Kind (D-WI), Peter King (R-NY), David Loesback (D-IA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Michael Michaud (D-ME), James Moran (D-VA), Thomas Petri (RWI), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Paul Tonko (D-NY) also signed onto H.R. 3747 as original cosponsors. There is no greater challenge facing the volunteer emergency services today than recruitment and retention, said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. The Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act will give local agencies and governments much-needed exibility to implement incentive programs that work for their community. On behalf of the nations volunteer emergency response community Id like to thank the sponsors and cosponsors of this critical piece of legislation for their support. According to the U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2012, a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are approximately 780,000 volunteer reghters serving in 28,000 re departments across the country, including 20,000 fire departments staffed by volunteers only. Another NFPA report estimated that the value of the time donated by volunteer reghters in the United States is approximately $140 billion. Unfortunately, fire departments are nding it increasingly difcult to recruit and retain the next generation of volunteers. Increased training and certication requirements have made volunteer emergency response an extraordinarily time-consuming activity, even as a variety of shifting societal factors have left fewer young people with less free time available in communities traditionally served by volunteers. The NFPAs annual Fire Department Prole reports show a 16.4 percent drop in the number of reghters under the age of 40 serving in communities of 2,500 or fewer residents since 2000. Overall, there are 44,000 fewer volunteer reghters in the United States than there were just ve years ago. In order to bolster recruitment and retention, many volunteer re and EMS agencies now provide nancial and non-monetary incentives. These benefits can include uniforms, annual awards ceremonies, reduced property taxes, and other incentives that cost little but demonstrate the communitys support for the volunteer reghter. Even modest rewards show volunteers that their service is valued by the community. Federal taxation reduces the incentive value of volunteer benets and creates a hardship on the jurisdictions that provide them. VRIPRA reduces the burdensome impact of federal taxation of volunteer benets, enabling local agencies and governments to implement recruitment and retention strategies that work for their communities.

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Fireghters Have a Hot Practice

Wooden annex incinerated to make way for bus garage
By Dan Linehan The Mankato Free Press Fireghters started the morning by setting eight practice res in a wooden annex to the city public works building, and nished their afternoon by burning it to the ground. It was a way to practice with other agencies re departments from North Mankato and St. Claire assisted while saving the city the expense of demolition. The city is moving its bus garage, bus wash and mass transit ofce space to the public works facility, which used to be the regional Minnesota Department of Transportation headquarters. The two-story annex, about 75-by-30 feet, was in the way. Despite morning temperatures in the single digits, Public Safety Deputy Director Jeff Bengtson said the light winds made for a good winter burn. Still, the cold demanded concessions, such as keeping the hoses running and scheduling a salt truck to help melt the leftover ice. Bengtson kept his pen from freezing by tucking it between his hat and cheek. The practice res were set using pallets and bales of straw. To mimic a real-life delay, reghters waited for several minutes before moving in to knock down the straw re. The annexs plastic ofce furniture was removed because it burns so hot. Fireghters practiced different tactics with the smaller res; they attacked them both from the inside and from the outside. When it came time for the nal burn, they knocked the internal walls down to speed up the process. A half hour after the re started, a reball shot from the roof but after the hole widened the re shrunk. The main public works building was nearby, perhaps 20 feet away. Fireghters kept it covered with water, and also trained their hoses on the nearest annex wall to encourage the building to collapse in the other direction.

Fireghters watch as a wooden annex to the former Minnesota Department of Transportation regional headquarters burns during a practice burn. Photo by Pat Christman, Mankato Free Press.


Your Best Body

There is nothing quite like the feeling of having a healthy strong body. That feeling that your body is capable of completing your daily tasks with ease. As we recently kicked off another New Year, many of us have created some goals for ourselves. Health & Fitness related goals are a big area that we all tend to focus on. We all want to look, feel, and perform at our best! How do we achieve this? It really boils down to the basics. Our body needs exercise, rest, adequate water intake, and a balanced diet. It sounds pretty simple actually, because it is. The hardest step to work towards our best body is taking action to make these changes. What can you do to start making changes today? It does not need to be overwhelming. The little changes that we make daily will help create big results over time. I get asked often from people who are wondering how often they should train each muscle group, how many reps they should do, and how many sets. There is no magic formula to this and it is really based on the goals of each person. You do not need to spend hours in the gym to see strength gains and results, give it your all when you are there. Listen to your body and take recovery when you need it. Hiring a trainer and/or attending some group tness classes is great ways to get tips and cues on proper form, which truly is the most important thing. When you begin to incorporate any amount of exercise you can look forward to many benets that you will notice. Not only will you sleep better and have more energy, but you will feel happier because of those lovely things that we call endorphins! Hitting the gym is so important for overall health along with a clean and balanced diet. You must work just as hard in the kitchen as you do in the gym! This means we cannot constantly splurge because we spent an hour at the gym that day. Do not go to extreme measures to cut calories or certain macronutrients to see results. There is no magic pill that is going to work and lets face it; no one wants to lose 50 pounds only to gain it right back. Be sure to eat a balance of carbs, fats, and proteins. Your body needs all of these nutrients to function. A great tool to hold yourself accountable and track your diet and exercise is; they also have an app. for your smart phone. Surround yourself with the right tools and people to help keep you working towards your best body and feeling great!

Above: Deputy Director of Public Safety Jeff Bengston talks with City Council President Chris Frederick during a practice burn as reghters train their hoses on the back wall to keep it from collapsing into the neighboring building. Below: A reghter checks on the progress of a practice burn of the wooden annex to the former Minnesota DOT regional headquarters. Photos by Pat Christman, Mankato Free Press.





H: 320-763-5474 C: 320-760-1991 Email:
GoldenValley, MN Valley, 55427 MN 55427 6325 Olympia Street, Golden H: 763-541-9920 W: 952-992-3122 H: 763-541-9920 W: 952-992-3122 C: C: 612-597-2096 612-597-2096 Email: Alexandria, MN 56308 PO Box 876, Alexandria, MN 56308 H: 320-763-5474 C: 320-760-1991 Email:

President Shane Schmidt President PO 876 ShaneBox Schmidt


Happy New Year! As we begin 2014, I would like to share with you some background on the Minnesota State Fire Department Association (MSFDA). Our association was organized in 1873 and throughout the past 140 years, we have created policies, set up committees, held conferences, and been involved in countless, significant and historical events throughout our great State of Minnesota. We all know there have been organizations that have come and gone and some that are here to stay. I want to assure you the MSFDA is here to stay. The MSFDA represents all fire departments and firefighters, whether you are volunteer, paid-on-call, or paid, we are here for you. Three years ago, we hired DeeDee as MSFDAs part time Executive Administrator and our goal is to transition her to full time so we can continue to have representation at most or all events to keep us on the cutting edge of firefighter issues. We continue to increase membership and member benefits. Thank all of

Shane Schmidt, President

We have come a long way since 1873 and as we enter our 141st year, we are looking to our membership for new, fresh ideas and reghters that would like to get involved with one of the oldest re organizations in Minnesota.
you for your continued support! If you are not currently a member, please visit our website to find out how to join. Our forefathers have set the groundwork for us and we continue to build to be a great organization. We have come a long way since 1873 and as we enter our 141st year, we are looking to our membership for new, fresh ideas and firefighters that would like to get involved with one of the oldest fire organizations in Minnesota. Elections of officers at the next conference will be President and Treasurer. You must file a letter of intent 45 days prior to the start of the Annual Conference in June to be on the ballot. Please consider running. Conference and Meeting dates: MSFDA Winter Board Meeting in St. Cloud January 18, 2014 MSFDA Conference in Owatonna June 12-14, 2014 God Bless. Shane Schmidt, President How Good and Pleasant it is when Brothers live together in unity. Psalm 133:1

Vice Presiden t President Mark Rosenblum Vice 6325 Olympia Street Mark Rosenblum

Hugo, MN 55038 4990 - 149th Street N # 4, Hugo, MN 55038 C: 651-208-9309 W: 651-281-3457 C: 651-208-9309 W: 651-281-3457 Email:

Treasur er Tony Bronk Treasurer 4990Tony - 149thBronk Street N. #4


11 Aspen Court, North Mankato, MN 56003 North Mankato, MN 56003 H: 612-208-3473 Email: Email: edh457@g H: 612-208-3473 C: C: 507-380-0619 507-380-0619

Secretary Secretar yHoffman Ed Hoffman Ed 11 Aspen Court

Support Specialist Executive Administrator DeeDee Jankovich DeeDee Jankovich 28711 Holly Drive NW
28711 HollyIsanti, Drive MN NW,55040 Isanti, MN 55040 C: 763-221-9329 Email: C: 763-221-9329 Email: deedee

Region 1 Capitol City Judy Thill 8150 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077 W: 651-450-2495 C: 651-308-6438 Email: Region 2 Northern Jim Aagenes 513 7th Street NE Fosston, MN 56542 H: 218-435-6027 C: 218-280-9447 W: 218-435-1133 Email: Region 3 Arrowhead Rex Lentner 2603 Co. Rd. 444 Hibbing, MN 55746 H: 218-263-3800 Email: Region 4 Northwest Del Bellanger 1501 235th Street Mahnomen, MN 56557 C: 218-850-8143 W: 218-935-2701, Ext. 7228 Email: Region 5 Cuyuna Dale Borgstrom 34297 70th Ave Cushing, MN 56443 H: 218-746-3823 C: 320-630-9190 Email: Region 6 Lake Dave Yurczyk 38345 Co. Rd. 9 Avon, MN 56310 C: 320-761-2087 Email: Region 7 St. Croix Valley Dave Matchinsky 1255 10th Ave. SE Cambridge, MN 55008 C: 763-286-8004 Email: Region 8 North Suburban Mark Rosenblum 6325 Olympia Street Golden Valley, MN 55427 H: 763-541-9920 W: 952-992-3122 C: 612-597-2096 Email:

Region 9 West Central Charles Savoie, Jr. 200 4th Ave. West, Box 161 Hanley Falls, MN 56245 H: 507-768-3625 Email: Region 10 Central Ron Kelm 220 5th Ave. N. Brownton, MN 55312 H: 320-328-5270 C: 320-510-1211 Email: Region 11 United Fire Fighters Dave Eisinger 5785 W. Main Street Maple Plain, MN 55359 H: 763-479-2732 W: 612-670-4140 Email: Region 12 Minnesota Valley John King P.O. Box 44 LeSueur, MN 56058 H: 507-665-2256 C: 612-756-4590 Email: Region 13 Southwest Darrell Crumrine 320 2nd St E Balaton, MN 56115 H: 507-743-6403 C: 507-828-9621 Email: Region 14 South Central Ed Hoffman 11 Aspen Court North Mankato, MN 56003 H: 612-208-3473 C: 507-380-0619 Email: Region 15 Southeastern Paul Corcoran PO Box 157 Rusford, MN 55971 H: 507-459-6793 Email: MN State Fire Marshal Bruce West 445 Minnesota St., Suite 145 St. Paul, MN 55101-5145 W: 651-201-7201 Fax: 651-238-9292 Email:

Mark Rosenblum, Vice President

The re service in Minnesota is going through a great deal of change right now with a new State Fire Marshall, a subsequent new MBFTE coordinator and even thresholds being raised for relief association audits.
Happy New Year Minnesota Fireghters, I hope you all have made it through the holidays and are on to surviving winters chill. I dont remember a time in my life where there has been so much change occurring all at the same time. Im not sure if this is a result of the amazing speed at which information and technology improve right now, if there is something else that is driving this commotion or if it is many factors. The fire service in Minnesota is going through a great deal of change right now with a new State Fire Marshall, a subsequent new MBFTE coordinator and even thresholds being raised for relief association audits. Many chiefs are retiring following long tenures and there is a lot of change that is resulting in the backfill of their jobs. The simple fact is that times, they are a changing as Bob Dylan once said. Much time and energy has been put into making, accepting, dealing with and living with change, I think we can all agree on this. Can we all agree that with rapid change comes a sense of discomfort? How do we absorb or manage that discomfort? I recently read an article by Laurie Maddelena where she quoted a study as follows: A five-year study of 97 active, productive people over 100 years of age conducted by Dr. Leonard Poon of the University of Georgia found that there are four common characteristics that influence resilience: Optimism: They had a positive view of the past and future and were not dominated by worry

or negativity. Engagement: They were actively involved in life, they were not passive observers. Mobility: They stayed active physically. Adaptability to Loss: They had an extraordinary ability to stay balanced by adapting to and accepting change and loss. I n s u m m a r y, M a d d e l e n a made the following observation: Change is here to stay. We cant always control the circumstances, but what we can control is our perspective about change. The next time you are faced with any type of change, challenge yourself to think through some different perspectives then choose one that will help you productively manage the change. As Henry David Thoreau said, Things do not change; we change. Obviously, we cant be fighting fires as 100 year olds, but we can learn from our elders and learn from their resilience. Ask yourself, How do I deal with change? Sincerely, Mark Rosenblum, MSFDA Vice-President

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Courtesy of Grand Casino Hinckley

Mail in this form to MSFDA, 28711 Holly Drive NW, Isanti, MN 55040 or register online on the MN Firefighter tab at
Drawing will be held on March 31, 2014

Name:________________________________________ Fire Dept:_________________________________ Address:_________________________________________________________________________________ City:__________________________________________ State:____________ ZIP:_________________

Email:___________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone:_______________________________________________________________________________





Tony Bronk, Treasurer
The membership of the MSFDA is department based, meaning that each reghter from the Chief to the rookie holds membership in the MSFDA.
Greetings fellow firefighters, I hope that your 2013 was one to remember and 2014 is off to a great start for you and your family. 2013 was a great year for the MSFDA. We finished the year with record number membership, which speaks volumes to the work the MSFDA is doing on behalf of you, the firefighter. By the time this edition hits your hands, the MSFDA Executive Board will have held their annual winter meeting with the MSFCA Executive Board. It is the goal of these meetings to work together on common issues as they relate to the fire service as a whole. While each Association has its own direction and makeup of membership, there is always common ground for us to work on and this year will be no different. Its been asked of me over the course of the last few years, what is the difference in the MSFCA and the MSFDA. While both Associations work together on numerous issues, such as legislation, Fire Service Day at the Capitol or special projects such as the Fallen Firefighter Memorial, there are still items in which each association focuses on. During the 2013 calendar year, the MSFDA took a focus on providing benefits to the firefighters around the state, regardless of rank or title. We have added many discounts to many places and organizations within Minnesota and elsewhere. This is in part to the never ending work of DeeDee Jankovich, MSFDA Executive Administrator, who is tirelessly working to add more items every day. The membership of the MSFDA is department based, meaning that each firefighter from the Chief to the rookie holds membership in the MSFDA. We are a single fee based organization which is based on a citys population, again covering all members of your department. We are the only organization by Minnesota law that allows your relief association to pay for your membership fees. We hold numerous positions on Governor appointed boards, to ensure that the voice of the firefighter is being heard. We are currently looking to add some form of AD&D insurance to the membership in the future. We have started publishing this official newspaper, which is available to any person in the state that would like to receive it. We have maintained our costs of the annual conference for over 5 years and after 8 years, we just implemented a small dues increase which will be put forth into membership benefits. Many of the current benefits we offer, can be found on our website at While each association may have their own direction they wish to go, it has always been an honor and privilege to work with the executive board of the MSFCA. While we may not always agree on everything, we learn to put our personal differences aside and work together for the betterment of the fire service as a whole. During my time on the MSFDA board, we have made a lot of progress, and this is in part to the leadership of both organizations. I look forward to working with newly installed MSFCA President Bill Mund as we continue to move the fire service forward in Minnesota. As we begin the 2014 calendar year, we welcome aboard our new State Fire Marshal Bruce West. I have had the honor of working with Bruce for many years and believe he will do a great job with steering the fire service in Minnesota. In closing, I wish you all a safe 2014 and look forward to seeing many of you at the annual conference in Owatonna, this June. Look for the packet to arrive at your station soon and book your rooms early. This year we are offering extended training programs and have added many other new and exciting adventures to the 2014 MSFDA conference. Hope to see you there. Tony Bronk MSFDA Treasurer

Hello Minnesota Firefighter subscribers J First off, thank you to all the firefighters and their families who responded to the Excel Energy Center to watch Josh Harding and the boys take it to the St. Jose Sharks on December 8th . The Firefighter Night at the MN Wild was a success! The mission of the event was not to raise funds, or to accomplish anything more than offering you Wild Fans an opportunity to purchase a reduced rate ticket and to enjoy a game amongst what ended up being 400 fellow fire men, women and their families.

Seeing the large turnout was fun and next year weve got some new ideas to run by our event partners, the MPFF and MSFCA to make it even better. All 784 fire departments in Minnesota will soon be receiving registration materials for the 139th Annual MSFDA Conference, which will be held in Owatonna on June 12-14, 2014. The conference committee has been working hard to plan days filled with a variety of training, exhibits and entertainment. Included in the packet this year is an Award Nomination Form. Please

DeeDee Jankovich, Executive Administrator

All 784 re departments in Minnesota will soon be receiving registration materials for the 139th Annual MSFDA Conference, which will be held in Owatonna on June 12-14, 2014.

take a moment and fill one out for someone in your department that has made a difference, and

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deserves recognition for their efforts and/or achievements. Our goal at the MSFDA is to support all Minnesota firefighters and I know there are some humble, hardworking guys and gals out there that are very much deserving these awards. My goal is to find you, and share your/their accomplishments with everyone. The fire service is very much a lead by example industry and together, we can all accomplish our goals. The Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters, Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association, and the Minnesota Fire Department Associations Annual Legislative Conference (MN Fire Service Day at the Capitol) is scheduled for Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Please make every effort to attend. Registration begins at 7:00 am with a speaker program at 7:45 am and appointments with legislators will begin at 9:00 am. The registration and meeting is at The Labor and Professional Centre, 411 Main St. St. Paul, 55102 with free parking, continental breakfast, and shuttles running to the Capitol. Visit our website at for more information and the registration form. I believe our legislative efforts are greatly supported at this event. Getting in front of our lawmakers and visiting about important issues 1 on 1 is a great tool often overlooked in our fast paced world we live in now.

We are still receiving subscriptions on a daily basis for the Minnesota Firefighter Newspaper. We now have close to 2600 subscribers! In each edition of the newspaper we include a drawing for a giveaway. Last month we gave away a Cabelas gift card. This editions drawing is for a Grand Casino Hinckley getaway. You can enter to win online or by mailing the form in from this paper. These drawings are hosted by MSFDA only. Entering a drawing will not result in you receiving calls, emails or offers from the vendor directly. If you know someone who hasnt received a subscription to our official publication yet, direct them to our website for more information. For $7.00 per year, Im confident everyone will find some value in it. Lastly, several positions amongst the MSFDA board still exist if you or someone you know are looking for an exciting new challenge. As we all know, recruitment and retention is something every fire department faces as a challenge. The MSFDA board is hoping to bring on some new members of our own to fill some vacancies and bring some new ideas to the fire service to keep our memberships and their departments inviting and fresh. The mission of the MSFDA is to initiate and maintain an active participation in all aspects of the fire service including training, education, fire prevention, scholarships, law and legislative action, service and special awards, and benefits for its members. Feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions about the MSFDA or any of our benefits. Be safe out there everyone and I wish you all the best in the year to come. DeeDee Jankovich MSFDA Executive Administrator




REPORTS FroM tHe State FIre MarsHaL DIVIsIoN

Bruce West, MN State Fire Marshal
When Jerry announced his retirement a few months ago, my wife and I talked about the opportunity that existed, and I decided to apply for the job.
side of town. That rapid expansion and my other experiences in Elk River took me into the realm of politics, budgets and personnel management that are relevant in a much larger venue. I have a real passion for the fire service, and over the years, Ive put it to work as a board member, Vice President (20042005) and President (2006-2007) in the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association (MSFCA). Our statewide fire-service organizations work hard for all 20,700 firefighters in Minnesota, and Elk River Fire Departments membership in the Minnesota State Fire Department Association provided training and networking opportunities with firefighters from around the state. State Fire Marshal Division SFMD staff members are a dedicated group of people who work side-by-side with the fire service every day on code questions, fire-and-life safety education, youth firesetting prevention and intervention, fire investigation, conducting inspections in school, health care, jail and prison facilities, and collecting data from 99.5 percent of our 785 fire departments. Our 56 staff members are dedicated to the safety of Minnesota firefighters and citizens alike. Several SFMD retirements are coming up, starting in January with Rick Kleis and Clint Halvorson. Kleis started with SFMD in 1993 and became chief investigator in 2000. Halvorson came to us in 1990 as a school inspector and served Northwestern Minnesota for many years. Their colleagues and those they serve will miss the expertise, dedication and passion each man brought to this job. I wish both Rick and Clint long, happy, healthy retirements. Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) The Minnesota State Fire Marshal also wears the directors hat for the Office of Pipeline Safety. MNOPS staff is co-located with the SFMD staff in St. Paul. One of my goals as Director of MNOPS is to give our activities and staff a higher public profile in Minnesota. MNOPS 18 staff members focus on pipeline damage prevention, large operator inspections and LPG/small operator interstate inspections. Jon Wolfgram, MNOPS Chief Engineer, runs dayto-day operations. SFMD and MNOPS Goals and Priorities Each article I write will highlight my SFMD and MNOPS priorities and goals over the next few years starting with MNOPS. You may have attended past Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) meetings sponsored by the pipeline industry to raise awareness of pipeline safety. I hope to increase attendance and expose more fire service members to this issue. I also plan to build on the positive response received by the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education (MBFTE) on statewide Mass and Gross Decon and Incident Safety Officer training. My goal is to develop 2-to3 hours of pipeline awareness training, in partnership with MNOPS staff, Minnesota Pipeline CAER and Minnesota pipeline companies, to be presented to our 785 fire departments within five years. The training will be brought to your station free of charge. Your firefighters will learn about underground facilities in your community, your mutual-aid area and the region, and how to prepare for a pipeline emergency. Ill provide updates as the program develops. Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education (MBFTE) The MBFTE is in the process of filling the Executive Director position Im vacating. The plan is to name a replacement by February 1, 2014. Stay tuned. Conclusion It is very important to me that both SFMD and MNOPS staff members be accessible to our fire service. We invite your questions, comments and input into what we can do to help you. The transition from Executive Director of the MBFTE has been a hectic one, but I am deeply honored and hopeful as I take on this new responsibility. I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy holiday season with friends, families and fire service colleagues. I value your comments, so feel free to contact me at , at my office (651-201-7201) or by cell phone (651-238-9292.) Bruce West, State Fire Marshal

A New Beginning: State Fire Marshal Bruce West

Passionate About the Fire Service, Optimistic About the Future
Change, Change, Change A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about the only thing in life thats constant change. Now Im talking about change again, because changes are happening at the State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS), and its starting at the top. SFM Jerry Rosendahl Jerry Rosendahl, State Fire Marshal for more than 10 years, retired Dec. 3 to spend more time with his wife Jackie, his daughters, grandchildren and his woodworking hobby. I wish Jerry and Jackie a happy, healthy retirement and lots of good times at home in Hastings, and in their Lake Havasu, Arizona home. Commissioner Dohman When Jerry announced his retirement a few months ago, my wife and I talked about the opportunity that existed, and I decided to apply for the job. As the process unfolded, I was honored to be appointed State Fire Marshal. I thank Commissioner Dohman for her confidence in me, and Im proud and excited to lead the SFMD and MNOPS into the future. My Background I started my fire service career in 1978 as a paid-on-call firefighter for the Anoka-Champlin FD. Founded in 1869, AnokaChamplin is like many Minnesota departments rich in history and tradition. Over the years, I became a full-time member and migrated up through the ranks. In 1994 I was appointed Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director in the City of Elk River. It was a great opportunity for me to lead another well-established organization just up the road from where my career began. Over my 15-year tenure, Elk Rivers population increased from 10,200 to 23,000 a major challenge for the city and for the FD requiring us to hire additional firefighters and build a second station on the west




Valley Woods lost to re

Ten re departments battle Wendell re.
By C.A. Ray, Editor Grant County Herald A Wendell landmark, Valley Woods, was completely destroyed by re Saturday afternoon, despite the efforts of ten area re departments. Although Valley Woods owner David Jensen and his brother Daryl were working in the furniture and cabinet shop when the re broke out, they got out safely. The Grant County Sheriffs Ofce received a 911 call reporting the re at approximately 2:06 p.m. Saturday, November 30. The Wendell Fire Department was dispatched to the scene, along with the Grant County Sheriffs Ofce. Eventually re departments from Elbow Lake, Ashby, Barrett, Hoffman, Herman, Fergus Falls, Dalton, Tintah, and Fairmount, ND were called for assistance in a successful effort to stop the re from spreading to a storage shed east of the building, and Dons Body Shop and Beckmans Service gas to the west. The re started when a spark from a grinder ignited some materials, then spread. It was fueled by wood scraps, wood products, and wood nishes. Two pumper trucks were set up east of town at the Mustinka River where they pumped water into tanker trucks, which were then brought into town to supplement the water supply from the Wendell water tower. The Fergus Falls Fire Department had their ladder trucks on the scene and they were used to put reghters above the re, helping to contain it. Valley Woods was nothing but a pile of ashes by morning. The building was built around 1916 as a warehouse for an implement dealer, in 1920 it became Aamot Implement, a farm equipment dealer, according to Roy Randall, longtime employee of Aamot Implement. In 1995 Aamot Implement closed with an auction on February 14. On February 25th, the original Valley Woods burned down. That building, a former lumberyard, was also completely destroyed, and Valley Woods moved into the vacant Aamot building. It is sadly ironic to have to go through this twice in the last 20 years, said Wendell Fire Chief Chad Biss. Valley Woods employed three to ve part time employees. David said he hopes to be able to use the storage shed to the east of the building to get Valley Woods operating again. Most of the big equipment is in that building, so it would work out, he said, adding that all his hand tools, and a skid loader were destroyed. I had just driven the skidloader into the shop an hour before. Brother Daryls Jensen Builders ofce was also located in the Valley Woods building, so the Jensens would have to add some ofce space. Im at the mercy of the insurance people now, David said, adding that Valley Woods was very busy, with special orders on cabinets that would keep his employees working for a solid year. The chances of me quitting are slim to none.

A Wendell landmark, Valley Woods, was completely destroyed by re on Nov. 30 despite the efforts of 10 re departments. Photo by Chris Ray, Grant County Herald.

Fire crews bring more hoses into the ght. Photo by Chris Ray, Grant County Herald.

Above: Wendell reghters bring hoses to the re. Below: A foam re retardant was sprayed between Valley Woods and the building to the west in a successful attempt to stop the re from spreading. Photos by Chris Ray, Grant County Herald.

Water is sprayed on top of Valley Woods. Fire departments from Wendell, Elbow Lake, Ashby, Barrett, Hoffman, Herman, Fregus Falls, Dalton, Tintah and Fairmont, ND, battled the re and were able to keep it from spreading to buildings on either side. Photo by Chris Ray, Grant County Herald.




Alexandria Fire Department

Preserving the Past Protecting the Future

1883 Alexandria Fire Department

The history of The Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department is probably very similar to other departments in the frontier Midwest in the late 1800s. Unfriendly, uncontrolled res were recognized as the enemy of the entire settlement. Everyone able to respond to a re call did so in those days. While larger eastern cities had organized re companies sponsored by insurance companies, the frontier towns had to protect themselves without much equipment and volunteer manpower. As the village grew and developed, the citizens knew that re protection was a service that would soon become a necessity for the municipality. Alexandria newspaper accounts from March 15, 1880 indicate that the village authorities held a re meeting. The council was requested to purchase the necessary outt to properly equip a hook and ladder company. On November 26, 1880, the Douglas County jail which was just under construction and completely burned. The Congregational Church bell was used to alert the remen of the alarm. About a year later, in April of 1881, the hook and ladder truck arrived at a cost of $500. Two years later, in August of 1883, two chemical engines arrived from Chicago. The village council decided to store the re equipment at Seventh and F (Fillmore) which was a convenient central place for the public library and re apparatus. Now the village saw the need for organized manpower to operate the three pieces of equipment they had. On October 18, 1883, a re meeting was held at the Court House where it was agreed to form three companies, Chemical No. 1, Chemical No. 2, and Hook and Ladder. Mr. P. Arnott was elected re marshal, the rst re chief. One week later the Village Council adopted Ordinance No. 22 - Fire Department. The Department was to be made up of three companies of not less than ten or more than thirty members. The men had to be within the ages of 18 and 50 to join. It appears that one of the rst things the new re department did was organize the rst annual Firemans Ball for it was held on December

remained a volunteer depart- Excerpts of minutes from meetings held in 1907 reveal ment throughout the years. The rst real big re oc- that the remen discussed the curred in 1888 when the Rail- problem of too many remen road Hotel burned on Main and outsiders riding on the re Street. Babcock extinguishers rigs. The weight of the extra were used and a bucket bri- riders slowed down the team of horses used to get to the re gade was formed. By 1895, the competition scene. In 1912, the whistle at the between the three companies had grown very keen. They light plant was used as the each had 30 members for to- re alarm. The new remens 26, 1883, at Cowings Opera tal department strength of 90 quarters in city hall were comHouse (which burned down men. They held races, water pleted in 1913 and used for a few years ghts, base- 50 years when the building later.) This ball games was demolished and the new has been In and tug-of- structure built in 1963. a popular wars with 1994, a new re station was fundraiser each other, built at 302 Fillmore housing for the deoften on a the current up-to-date equippartment c h a l l e n g e ment. throughout In 1918 we received the basis. the years. In 1905, new automobile re truck, On May the Alex- a 1917 American LaFrance 8, 1884 the andria Vol- chain drive, at a cost of new re unteer Fire $6,700. The Relief Associabell was Department tion nanced it until such time placed into Relief Asso- as the City was able to pay for operation ciation (for it. This truck served the vilon the town our retire- lage well and was nally reAFD Original Fire Bell hall where it ment and sick tired as a parade piece and is could be heard several miles allowance) was duly incor- now on display in the museum out in the country. porated and its constitution at Fire Station In 1887, four years after the and bylaws were adopted. department began operations; it hosted the State Firemens Convention. Alexandria Fire Dept again hosted the 1910, 1941, 1956, 1969, 1981, 1989, 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2012. Alexandria will be hosting the 2018 MSFDA Conference, so come join the fun. In 1895 the Village Council considered the possibility of securing a paid re company; however, this was not to be as the department has 1910 MSFDA Convention-Alexandria




In 1920 all three companies consolidated into the Alexandria Fire Department. The manpower needs were reduced as modern equipment was purchased. We have gone from a maximum of 90 men during the hand operated, horse drawn days of 3 rigs to the present day where we have 10 vehicles manned by a 30 member department. In 1975 we received an 85 foot aerial platform and pumper truck snorkel at a cost of $165,000 which dramatizes the increase in cost from 40 years ago. In 2007, the department purchased a 1999, 100 ladder truck to replace the snorkel for $430,000.

First motorized truck 1917 American LaFrance. Alex Fire in 2003 with Budweiser Clydesdales. 100 ft Aerial Truck

In 1921 the Relief Association bought seven acres of land with over 400 feet of lakeshore on Lake Latoka for $120 per acre. They later paid $30 for small parcel adjoining this property. The remen constructed a large cabin now referred to as the Lodge and ve smaller cabins on the property for the use of the members in lieu of receiving pay for their services as remen. This attractive property is a landmark on the lake. In 1924 the city paid $450 for a 5 horsepower alarm siren to be used as a replacement for the whistle at the light plant. Since then, a telephone system, and now a radio system replaced the siren to alert the members when needed. In present time the 30 member all volunteer dept covers 136 sq. miles with the most up to date equipment and respond to an average of 220 re and rescue calls per year with an in route response time average of 3 minutes. Each member must maintain a 70% call percentage throughout the year. The dept holds trainings and dept meetings every Monday and every member must attend 12 hours out of the department training annually. Past Alexandria Fire Chief Shane Schmidt now serves as President of the Minnesota State Fire Department Asso-

ciation. Other members of the department are actively serve on boards and committees on the county, regional and state levels. Members also attend Fire Service Day at the Capitol, MSFDA, MSFCA and other school and conferences state wide. Our Honor Guard participated in the dedication of the Fire Fighter Memorial on the State Capitol Grounds and honoring those that paid the ultimate sacrice, it was a great honor those guys. The Alexandria Explore Post 400 has been very successful competing at the Governors Fire Prevention Day during the Minnesota State Fair. The post members participate in regular dept trainings to gain knowledge of the re service. This has been a great addition to the re dept as you can see the growth and respect of these young youth gain by being involved.

Right: Explorer Post 2013 at Minnesota State Fair In the Fall of 2007 a Alexandria Fireghters Memorial was constructed and dedicated to ALL reghters that have been on Alexandria Fireghters Memorial. the re department since 1883 ( approx. 500 names) Alexandria is honored to be hosting the 2018 MSFDA Conference. Hope to see you there!

AFD Fire Station

Alexandria Fire Department 2012




Explosion and re damage Land OLakes Plant in Browerville

Left: On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at approximately 4:35 p.m., the Todd County Sheriffs Ofce was called to an explosion at the Land OLakes plant in Browerville. A piece of equipment exploded, causing a re that eventually spread to equipment on the roof of the building. The Browerville Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Staples, Clarissa and Long Prairie Fire Departments. Fireghters were on the scene until 11:30 p.m. Below: A member of the Browerville Fire Department received minor burns and was transported to the Long Prairie Hospital by private vehicle at a re at the Land OLakes plant on Thanksgiving Day. Earlier that same day, the Browerville Fire Department had been called out at 2:27 p.m. to the Todd County Transfer Station. The transfer station had noticed one of their compost piles was on re. It is unknown what had started the re. The re department was on that scene for approximately 45 minutes. Photos by Ray Benning, Independent News Herald.

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Mapleview Fire conducted a controlled burn at the Mower County Fair grandstand.

House re mainly in basement

Man sent to hospital for breathing smoke
A man went to the hospital Thursday afternoon after the basement of his home caught re. Alden reghters were joined by reghters from Conger, Albert Lea Township, Manchester and Freeborn to ght a re at the home of Jason R. Kach, 69952 County Road 46, at that roads Armstrong corner. The call for the re went out at about 12:45 p.m. Alden Fire Chief Jim Thunstedt said the last unit left the home at 4:15 p.m. The state re marshal was on the scene to investigate the cause. The re chief said the cause remains under investigation. He said reghters rst entered the home through the garage, then sought to break down the front door to vent the smoke. The house appears to be about 40 percent damaged, Thunstedt said, mostly in the basement. He said some oor joists under the kitchen are burned, so it will be up to the insurance company to determine whether the structure is salvageable. He said Kach was transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea for smoke inhalation. The hospital reported Kach was treated and released Thursday. The reghters did not struggle with freezing water, though if the temperature had been 10 degrees cooler, they would have. The air temperature in Albert Lea at 1:15 p.m. was 21 degrees, with at 14 mph northeast wind. The wind chill was 8 degrees. Thunstedt said tanker trucks drove to Alden and to the Lake Chapeau Drive corner in Albert Lea to ll up with water at re hydrants. Deputies with the Freeborn County Sheriffs Ofce handled trafc control. The home is at the corner of County Road 46 and County Road 14. (Tim Engstrom, Albert Lea Tribune, Albert Lea, MN, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013)




Fireghters clothing was crusted with ice and frost after battling the blaze in frigid temperatures. Photo by Joni Astrup of the Elk River Star News.


Fire Service Day at the Capitol is scheduled for March 12, 2014. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending. More details will be on our website at as they become available.
Two people working inside were able to get out safely when re broke out inside Valley Woods in Wendell on Nov. 30. Photo by Chris Ray, Grant County Herald.


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Fire guts apartments

Residents are displaced, as re raged on a frosty day.
By Joni Astrup Elk River Star News About 40 people were displaced after a re raced through an Elk River apartment building Thursday morning. Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said crews were called to the Evans Meadows apartment complex at around 6:30 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered heavy re on the back (west) side of one of the apartment buildings, Cunningham said at a press brieng the morning of the re. Due to the wind and the extreme weather today, it did carry the re throughout the building quite rapidly, he said. The building is located at 365 Evans Ave. Everyone got out safely. Fifteen of the 16 apartments in the building were rented out, according to Police Chief Brad Rolfe. Residents were evacuated to Guardian Angels at 350 Evans Ave. and to St. Andrews Catholic Church at 566 Fourth St., he said. Later in the day, Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz said everyone had a place to stay. Justin Araskog, who lives in the apartment building next door, said he woke up about 6:30 a.m. and heard tons of sirens. By the time he got up and went out, he said he started seeing the whole top level of the building on re. The res cause has not yet been determined. Eight re departments responded to the scene and two other departments provided city and county backup coverage. Cunningham thanked all of the re and public safety personnel who

Big Lake reghters were among those from several departments who fought the re. Photo by Joni Astrup of the Elk River Star News.

worked for more than 10 hours at the scene in frigid temperatures. He said the weather conditions added to the challenge of ghting the re. Fighting a fire obviously is dangerous and unsafe in any conditions, he said Thursday morning. Were at about seven degrees outside right now. That certainly provides some extremes for our reghters, our personnel.

Fire gutted the apartment building, which had 16 units, 15 of which were occupied. Everyone made it out safely. Photo by Jim Boyle, Elk River Star News.

Fireghters worked to extinguish an extensive apartment re on Dec. 5 in Elk River. Photo by Jim Boyle of the Elk River Star News.

A reghter sprayed water on the front of the burning apartment building at the Evans Meadows apartment complex in Elk River. Photo by Joni Astrup of the Elk River Star News.




Fire department conducts controlled house burn

Three departments take part in S. Lake St. exercise
The Worthington Fire Department led a controlled burn training session Sunday at a home at 830 S. Lake St., located south of Shine Bros. Corp. At the end of that street is a dead end and there is some land behind it, Worthington Fire Chief Rick von Holdt said. I believe the plan is to turn that land into farmland now that the house is down. Sixteen members of the Worthington Fire Department, as well as three from the Adrian Fire Department and one from the Round Lake Fire Department, all participated in the WFDs third controlled burn. These training sessions are few and far between, von Holdt explained, but they are crucial. We have a burn trailer set up through Minnesota West, but its important to have this kind of training in a house, von Holdt said. When entering a house you dont know the oor plan, and there are more obstacles you have to face to ght a re in a house. When von Holdt was approached about the project last year, he took it upon himself to start the process in making it happen. The process can be extensive, he said. You have to rst get a burn permit from the DNR (Department of Natural Resources), then have a professional inspect the house for lead and other hazardous materials and nally get it approved by the city council. Bad weather was also a factor in determining when the training session would begin. I actually had the burn permit since the end of November 2013, but due to all the cold weather weve been having, Sunday was the first nice day we could do this, von Holdt said. The crews training focused on varying ways to attack a house re in different situations. Fires were started in three of the houses bedrooms, and a team was subsequently sent in to extinguish the blazes. Fire was later set again to the bedrooms, and it was allowed to build before a team acted. Finally, fire was ignited once more in the bedrooms, and the ames were allowed to spread. It was really cool because the house had four different levels that we could do different scenarios with, von Holdt said. We practiced what to do if there was someone in the house, (with) wind direction and creating fog patterns to extinguish the re. During the drill it gave, at least to some of the newer_guys an idea of what its like during a house frre, he added. The smoke is so thick and black you have to crawl on the ground for the cool air, and to feel around the ground to know where youre going. The Worthington Fire Department receives about 100 calls a year. About 20 of those are structure res, according to von Holdt. Most area people learning to become a reftghter in the local area do their training on either car res or at the burn trailer set up through Minnesota West. There isnt a lot of opportunity to do training like this, but it is extremely crucial to have training on a house re , von Holdt said. Schaap Sanitation and Shine Bros. Corp. disposed of the remains of the house after the crew was nished. (Erin Trester, Daily Globe, Worthington, MN, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014)

Minnesota Horse and Hunt Clubs clubhouse destroyed by Dec. 31 re
A large re demolished the clubhouse at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in rural Prior Lake on Tuesday morning, leaving most of the building as rubble. It ripped my heart out, Terry Correll, who has served as the clubhouse general manager for 38 years, said about his reaction upon seeing the devastation. Its been 38 years of passion, and to see the clubhouse basically go down to nothing in an hour, it just destroys all those memories. The clubs owners, however, are refusing to let the New Years Eve re deter them from serving their customers. Shooters were allowed to return on Thursday (though no one did likely due to the frigid temperatures), and club owners said they still plan to host weekend events, including a state pheasant championship on Jan. 4 and 5. The event will be moved into one of the lodges that is on the property. Scott County dispatch received a report of smoke in the area of the clubhouse restaurant at 6:19a.m. The cause and details of the re remain unclear, but Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said there were no reported injuries and his department does not believe the re is suspicious. The state re marshal is investigating. Prior Lake Fire Chief Doug Hartman called the clubhouse, which includes Triggers Saloon and Supper Club, a total loss. The club, at 3300 220th St. E. in Spring Lake Township, hosts major shotgun sporting and hunting events throughout the year. The facility includes the clubhouse with bar and restaurant, several outbuildings, animal kennels and cabin-like accommodations for guests. No animals were injured in the re, Hartman said. A New Years Eve celebration planned for Tuesday night at Triggers was canceled. Late Tuesday afternoon, re ghters were still putting out some ames in the clubhouse building. The Savage, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Jordan, New Prague and Elko New Market re departments responded on the scene. Shakopee Mdewakanton Emergency Services was requested for standby. Fireghters from Prior Lake didnt clear the scene until just before 5 p.m. Scott County Patrol Sgt. Marshall Emerson, the rst person on the scene, said the building was constructed in 1969. A Dec. 31 post on the Horse and Hunt Clubs Facebook page states, Its a sad day for all associated with the Club, but rest assured that we will rise like the mythical phoenix from the ashes to be better than ever. Correll echoed that sentiment, saying that they are already trying to gure out what they need to do to rebuild the clubhouse bigger and better. Correll said that the hunt desk/check-in is being moved to the Hunters Lodge, which is about 100 yards past the former location. The owners have started transforming the Hunters Lodge into a temporary headquarters for club operations. A lot of work will need to be done, and management will need to decide how they want to proceed going forward, but Correll thinks the business could start serving food and drinks again within ve months. Weve got all hands on deck. he said. Keep in mind that this loss only affects a small portion of the Club, the Facebook post states. All of the shooting ranges and hunting fields are completely unaffected. Look at this as a bump in the road. While news of the fire was devastating to staff members and loyal club members alike, it did go to show just how much the community cares about its local shooting club. The phones been ringing off the hook, Correll said. Its overwhelming how many people in the hunting and shooting industry have offered to help, asked what they can do to help, whether its clean-up help or contractor help. Tragedy can bring out the best in everybody, so let s pitch in and get this thing moving forward again. (Lori Carlson and Alex Hall, Prior Lake American, Prior Lake, MN, Saturday, January 04, 2014).

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Fire damages most of SJU building

Paint shop built on campus considered a historical site
What was once considered a historical site is a now pile of rubble. A paint shop that was built on the St. Johns University campus was destroyed Tuesday in a re. The re was reported at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, and reghters from St. Johns Fire Department, Avon and St. Joseph re departments responded. One reghter was treated for smoke inhalation, said Michael Hemmesch, a spokesman for St. Johns. The building houses the paint and nishing department at the university. It was built in 1912 as a campus laundry and waterworks. A sign on the remaining portion of the building says it is on the National Register of Historic Places. About two-thirds of the building was destroyed in the re. A large pile of rubble sat on the site and melted paint buckets laid on the ground. The cause of the re and a damage estimate are under investigation, Hemmesch said. The paint shop is on the southwest part of the St. Johns campus. (Kari Petrie, St. Cloud Times, St. Cloud, MN, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014).




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Fireghters from Audubon and Detroit Lakes responded to a mobile home re on Dec. 5. Subfreezing temperatures made ghting the blaze more difcult. Photo by Brian Basham of the Detroit Lakes Record.


Fire destroys mobile home

By Nathan Bowe Detroit Lakes Record A wood burning stove is believed to be responsible for a re that destroyed a mobile home and killed several pets Thursday a few miles west of Detroit Lakes. A young couple, Kyler Groft and Courtney Goettel, lived in the home, along with a child, Goettel said in an email. The home is owned by a relative who works as a long-haul trucker and stayed there occasionally, according to Becker County Sheriffs Sgt. Shane Richard. The home is located straight north of lzzos bar, on the other side of the BNSF railway tracks that run alongside Highway 10. Nobody was home at 10:45 a.m., when the re was reported, and six pets are believed to have died in the re. Fireghters found the bodies of two dogs and two cats in the home, and two other cats are missing, said Audubon Fire Chief Darcy Savig. One of the dogs had been rescued from an abusive home, making its death especially difcult for its new owner, said Richard. The fire in the older-model single-wide mobile home was relatively advanced when it was reported by a passerby who noticed the smoke, Savig said. The re was burning inside there for a little while, Savig said. It doesnt take long in a trailer house. Some mobile homes are built with wood paneling instead of drywall, and with all the wood inside, it doesnt take long for the walls to go, he said. Audubon firefighters spent three hours fighting the fire, a battle complicated by near-zero temperatures. Detroit Lakes reghters provided mutual aid. My guys air packs were freezing up, they had to go into the (Audubon Fire and Rescue) rig to warm up, Savig said. Fire crews pumped about 13,000 gallons onto the blaze, and all that water combined with the sub-freezing temperatures made for icy conditions. You go in there and ght the re, get all wet, and come out a big popsicle, he said. In those conditions, a trickle of water must be left running when a hose isnt being used, or the nozzle freezes up. Youre working in slippery conditions - gloves iced up, equipment iced up, tools iced up... your air packs freeze up if theyre not kept warm, he said. The fire is believed to have started in a wood stove located in a lean-to addition to the mobile home. Most of the home was lost to re, but the back bedroom suffered only major smoke damage, Savig said. Be careful with wood stoves, he said. Keep the combustibles away from them, and if you do get one, have it professionally installed. The weak link is usually where the chimney exits the house - it gets so hot in that area. Tanker trucks and dump tanks are used to ght rural res. The Audubon Fire Departments main engine can carry 1,000 gallons of water, and its tanker trucks can carry 3,000 gallons. The department also uses 2,500-gallon drop tanks to hold water. In this case, the drop tank was set up at the bottom of the driveway, since there was not enough level ground for it up near the house. Detroit Lakes (firefighters) relay-pumped to our engine, that worked pretty good, Savig said. The local Red Cross is involved in helping the occupants, who are now homeless as the mobile home is considered a total loss. They lost pretty much everything in the re, Richard said.

Smoke was thick at this mobile home re that left a family homeless and claimed the lives of four cats and two dogs. Photo by Brian Basham of the Detroit Lakes Record.

Brush Trucks Skid Units Pumpers Rescues

Fire Displaces Six Families

An electrical problem caused a re in Dodge Center last week, displacing six families temporarily and two families for a longer period of time. The Dodge Center Fire Department responded about 9:15 p.m. to a re call at IS Main St. W., said Fire Chief David Kenworthy. When reghters arrived, he said, they found that Al Denny, the owner of the building, was using a re extinguisher. Flames were visible when the department arrived and it took the re department about three hours to completely extinguish the re, Kenworthy said. He added that the owners actions before the re department arrived kept the re from getting out of control. Two apartments were directly affected, Kenworthy said, but residents of all six apartments were evacuated for the night. Gas to the apartments was shut off and when the gas was turned back on Wednesday, four of the six families were able to return to their apartments. The local chapter of the American Red Cross found shelter for the families displaced by the re. Kenworthy said ofcials have determined that the re was caused by an electrical problem. He said that since the re was in the insulation in the attic, reghters had to get inside the walls and ceiling in the two apartments directly affected, causing two of the families to be displaced for a longer period of time, until repairs are made. There was also water and smoke damage, he said. Dodge County Sheriffs Department ofcials also were present at the scene. (News-Enterprise, West Concord, MN, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013)

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Forty Years of Service

Lester Prairie Fire Dept. honored reghter Don Hoof for 40 years of service at their annual Christmas Party held December 6th. Don began his service with Lester Prairie Fire Department August 1, 1973. He was a member of the original group of re department medical First Responders started in May of 1983. During his years of service, he served on the Board of Fire Fighter Review and Selection. He served as Secretary of the department as well as Treasurer. Don achieved the Certication level of Fire Fighter III and was a Department Engine Operator. More than that he was a mentor and teacher for the new members. Don was very dedicated to the department, seldom missing a business or training meeting both at our station or offered through the vo-tech schools. Don was very involved with our Fire Prevention activities at the local elementary school as well as willing to serve on various other re department committees. Don Hoof (left) receives a watch from Fire Chief Jim Hoof in honor of his 40 years of service with Lester Prairie Fire Department.

Car catches re in downtown Owatonna

A four-door sedan is thought to be a total loss after the car started on re in downtown Owatonna late Monday afternoon. Emergency responders were dispatched the 200 block of North Cedar Avenue to deal with the re, which was called in about 4:45 p.m. The car was parked right in front of Old Town Bagels. While only smoke appeared at first, ames were clearly visible by the time reghters arrived on scene. Kelly Hanson, re commander for the Owatonna Fire Department, said OFD is investigating the re as if it started in the engine compartment. The re was also contained to the engine compartment. The driver of the car, a 2001 Pontiac, reported that she had no trouble with the vehicle while she was driving, but reported a funny smell at the end of her trip. The fire started when she parked, Hanson said. No injuries were reported as a result of the re. Despite containing the re to the engine compartment, Hanson said the car will probably be a total loss. The re did require water to be put out, rather than an extinguisher. With temperatures sitting about zero degrees, Hanson said it was important to keep the water owing on scene to prevent the hose lines from freezing up. Street crews from the City of Owatonna were called to deal with the water that had frozen to ice on the street. Units with the Owatonna Police Department blocked off the 200 block of North Cedar Avenue while reghters were on scene. By 5:30 p.m., the street was reopened and the damaged car had been towed away. (Al Strain, Owatonna Peoples Press, Owatonna, MN, Tuesday, Dec., 10, 2013)

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