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Lonsdale Fire Chief reports on 2012
Ordering a new pumper/rescue truck, training two new first responders and switching to the new 800 MHz communication system were just a few of the changes experienced by the Lonsdale Fire Department in 2012, as reported by Fire Chief Mike Yetzer at the regular meeting of the Lonsdale City Council held Thursday, March 14.
Yetzer told the council that the department had 233 total pages last year, two percent less than in 2011. The Lonsdale Fire Department represents the fire district which includes four townships in addition to the City of Lonsdale. Most pages in 2012 were within the city (97), followed by Webster (43), Wheatland (31), Erin (27) and Forest (23) townships. In addition, they had three mutual aid calls and nine cancelled calls. The highest percentage of calls were medical rescue (67%), followed by fire calls (20%) and personal accident (7%).
When Yetzer discussed the proposed budget for next year, he said they are continuing to streamline, but that there are no "big changes". The total budget proposed for 2014 is $229,084. That amount would be split between the townships and the city. Lonsdale will be responsible for $59,506; Webster $55,424; Wheatland $32,828; Erin $28,508; and Forest $22,834. The remainder would be paid by State Aid received by the City of Lonsdale, and then turned over to the Lonsdale Firemen's Relief Association.
When asked about equipment, Yetzer said the new pumper/rescue truck is expected to arrive in August and will replace two older trucks. He added that the Fire Chief vehicle is currently out of service and needs $2,500 in repairs.
"We're proponents of upgrading equipment and ordering the truck is a great first step," Mayor Tim Rud responded. "The department should have a useful chief's vehicle especially as the city and surrounding townships grow."
As for current and future goals, Yetzer said they now have secure medical protocols, giving them the ability take blood sugar tests and use epi-pens when necessary. They are also working on finishing policies, procedures and guidelines which will go before the council when completed.
Yetzer said that another goal they're working toward is the purchase of a Lucas Device, which is used for mechanical compression during CPR.
The council thanked Yetzer for the report and approved the proposed budget.
Business Park Update
During project updates, City Administrator Joel Erickson said the preliminary plat for the proposed business park will be presented at the April 1 Planning & Zoning meeting, and if approved will be brought to the council meeting on April 18. It will be constructed in sections and include potential sites for a new water tower and trails. Mayor Rud said the council should set up a special work session for the possibility of stepping in and speeding up the sale of the land in order to stay on schedule. He said the park is coming to fruition nicely, and that they've received inquiries from interested businesses. The next regular meeting of the council will be Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m.