Tuesday, December 5th in the cold and brutal winds, the official Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the Mount Horeb Public Safety Building. Many braved the weather to celebrate with us. Thanks to all who attended to help us mark the occasion.
The funding made available by the 2016 AFG will allow the MHAJFD to purchase a mobile training facility which is a key piece of equipment to train our firefighters and firefighters from neighboring communities. The funding will cover 95% of the cost of the mobile facility. The AFG program primary goal is to provide financial assistance directly to fire departments and EMS organizations to enhance local capabilities for firefighter and emergency response.
This mobile training facility will feature a burn room, forcible entry practice, roof prop, standpipe set up and much more. Insurance Services Office (ISO) Fire Department Rating requires a number of annual hours in a multi-level fire training facility. This grant will allow us to meet those goal hours. The issue in the past, and reason for requesting this grant, was getting our personnel to Madison College burn facility for training because we deplete the personnel available here to run calls.
The MHAJFD would like to thank FEMA, the AFG Program, and all those involved in supporting this program and securing the funding.
Chief of Department Craig Brinkmann released a summary report for the last five years.
"This is just a glimpse of the effort and growth that has been put forth by our membership over the last five years. We should all be proud of our accomplishments." - C. Brinkmann
Click below to view the report.
On December 15, 2016 the MHAJFD Board of Directors met and approved the new Fire and EMS station as part of a public safety building shared with the Village of Mount Horeb Police Department. A resolution was signed to authorize the project.
The municipalities of the Joint Fire Department (Villages of Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds, Towns of Cross Plains, Vermont, Springdale, Blue Mounds, Primrose and Perry) held referendums on November 8, 2016 to obtain information from the residents with respect to whether they want the municipality to participate in the fire station project. With approval of 7 of the 8 municipalities, (Primrose voted Nay) the project passed.
Call volume for the MHAJFD has more than doubled since 1991 when the Department moved into the current station. The current facility was constructed as a lumber yard in 1963, and the Department has outgrown the space and the building is in need of structural repair. The Department will save significant money in jointly constructing a Public Safety Building with the Police Department.
The preliminary cost estimate of the MHAJFD portion of the project is $8,415,000. The Departments will begin work with Bray Architects to start on design of the project.
Bray Architects has recently completed a review of space programming for a new Public Safety Building which would house the Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department and the Village of Mount Horeb Police Department. The process used by Bray looked at a list of necessities for the new building project, checking all areas of cost, and defining areas that can be shared by the two departments. The final step of the process was to assign a total project cost and individual costs for each department. These project costs will be used in referendums that will be held in November to gauge support of the project.
Our share of the proposed project cost, with a goal to meet the needs of Fire and Emergency Medical Services now and for 50 years, is $8.4 million. This cost takes into account a late 2017/early 2018 construction start time. There are significant cost savings to the project by combining Fire and Emergency Medical Services with the Mount Horeb Police Department.
There will be many opportunities to answer questions about the process through open houses, website updates, newspaper articles and Q&A sessions with the Fire Department. The target for most of these events will be September and October.
Plans for construction are underway for a new Public Safety Building to serve the Villages of Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds, and whole or parts of the Towns of Blue Mounds, Cross Plains, Perry, Primrose, Springdale, and Vermont. The building is planned to house both fire and emergency medical services (EMS) as well as the Mount Horeb Police Department. The Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department began studying the needs at the fire and EMS department as far back as 2007 when an advisory committee was formed to address the growing need to either upgrade the current fire station or replace it.
Feasibility and Space Needs Studies completed in 2013 and 2015 concluded the fiscally responsible choice was to begin a new station design process. Aside from the biggest issue, that both the fire and police stations simply do not have enough square footage, the studies found multiple other areas of need including inefficient electrical and mechanical systems, non-ADA compliance, inadequate bathrooms and lack of work space for employees.
In May 2016, a committee comprised of members of the Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department, the Mount Horeb Police Department, and the Mount Horeb Village Hall hired Bray Architects, through an open RFP and interview process, to lead the way toward a proper solution for all involved.
A meeting for clerks from each village or township occurred in early June to provide information of the current progress. Each municipality is also being visited by a Fire Department representative during a board meeting to answer questions to ensure that everyone has correct information and ample opportunity to ask questions. Each of the eight municipalities will decide their own approval process; the Village of Mount Horeb has committed to support the project by adding a referendum question on the November 2016 ballot.
The project timeline, if approved this fall would include bidding the project in 2017, beginning construction in 2018 with completion in the spring of 2019. Bray is currently updating space programming, creating a schematic design and assigning construction costs. A list of necessities has been created and will be considered in the design, with a goal of a building to suit both departments’ needs for 40-50 years.
As the process continues, opportunities to answer questions will be available through a series of open house, website updates, newspapers articles and Q&A sessions with the fire department.
Print and submit applications directly to the fire department, or mail to
Mount Horeb Fire Department
c/o G Haglund
120 S First Street
Mount Horeb, WI 53572
Afters several weeks of customization, the new CAR 1 is nearly ready for service. Replacing the 1999 Ford Command Car, the new car is designed to be multi-purpose, but also has specific new additions to allow the unit to operate as a command center for emergency calls. The truck is the result of many committee meetings over the last year to discuss department needs and functionality requirements while weighting fiscal responsibility in the design.
On Tuesday, September 15, FDMH officially said good-bye to Squad 1 as it headed for it's new home in Greenville, New York. The squad was placed for sale last year to gather funding for the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck. The current ladder truck is nearly 30 years old and due for replacement.
The Squad was constructed in 2005 as a custom project by Custom Fire Apparatus in Osceola, WI. The rig operated in full capacity until last year when departmental changes reduced it's need and subsequently it responded less frequently. The rig had been removed from front line response and placed in the back row for over a year.
The new ladder truck will essentially absorb the functionality of the squad while allowing the department to take advantage of new technological advancements in aerial operations. A committee has been formed and for over a year, has been designing a new ladder truck balancing departmental needs with fiscal responsibility. Delivery of a new ladder truck is anticipated in the fall of 2016.
An agreement has been signed with an intent to buy for the current ladder truck. The current ladder truck will remain in operation at FDMH until delivery is taken of the new aerial.
Tyler's Place is an area in UW Childrens Hospital where siblings of ill patients can go to get some creative stimulation during the often lengthy visits. With a lot of the attention being given to the ill patient, Tyler's place offers an opportunity for other children to "step away" and get some attention and time to creatively explore. FDMH wants to be a part of this opportunity and is currently taking collections for Tyler's Place through June 5th. Donated items can be anything creative for children to play with including (but not limited to) crayons, markers, construction paper, glue, play dough, etc. Donations can be made at Millers and Sons Grocery in Mount Horeb, the Mount Horeb Public Library or the Mount Horeb Fire Department. Thank you for your consideration.
May 16th was a rare day for Mount Horeb Fire Department. A donated farm house on HWY JJ in the Town of Vermont offered the opportunity to practice teamwork, hose movement and fire attack in real life situations. Overseen by Madison Area Technical College, the Black Earth and Mount Horeb Fire Departments worked together to start and extinguish nearly 30 fires in multiple parts of the house. Before the end of the day, the donated house was fully burned to the ground. Also placed into service were the new MSA G1 air packs, recently secured by the department, allowing members to get familiar with the new equipment in hot and smokey conditions.
FDMH has recently taken delivery of new MSA air packs purchased with a Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) awarded last year. These advanced air packs feature new technology not found on the ageing packs Mount Horeb had for nearly two decades. The new features include multiple warning systems for low air, heat indicators as well as increased adjustability to allow for more freedom of movement. Mount Horeb interns Kristen Glade, Josh Malinowski and Grant Langer can be seen here getting initial training on pack operation from FF Brennan Boughton.
Mount Horeb Fire Department would like to identify rural driveways longer than 1000 feet. FDMH has recently created a plan to help identify long driveways with a blue marker on the fire number pole, as pictured here. First arriving fire engines only carry 1000 feet of water supply hose. If the driveway exceeds 1000 feet, the fire department needs to know immediately to plan accordingly. Quick identification is crucial to ensure operations go smoothly.
Through discussion with the county, it has been determined that fire number signs and their poles belong to the home owner, meaning homeowners must grant permission to install markers. FDMH encourages homeowners with long driveways to contact the fire department during normal business hours and request a marker be installed; FDMH will install markers on both metal and wooden poles at no charge to the homeowner.
The Mount Horeb Area Joint Fire Department (MHAJFD) has received a $188,860 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funding made available by the 2013 AFG will allow the MHAJFD to outfit our firefighters with much needed Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) which is a key piece of equipment when entering hazardous environments. The SCBA is used on all structural fires as well as hazardous environment responses including industrial, agricultural, motor vehicle fires, spills, gas leaks and carbon monoxide calls. The funding will cover 95% of the cost of 28 units, estimated to cost $7,100 each. A complete unit consists of an SCBA with a face piece and one spare cylinder.
Our current SCBAs, also known as air packs, were purchased in 2001 and have seen heavy use. Several of the packs have been removed from active service because of failures but are still needed and used for training. Many safety features have been introduced since 2001, and will help to increase firefighter safety and efficiency. New packs have a display in the mask so a firefighter can tell how much air is left to continue operating or if they need to begin exiting the structure. There are also drag loops on the frame for faster firefighter rescue, face pieces with improved vision and higher temperature ratings.
The MHAJFD would like to thank FEMA, the AFG Program, and all those involved in supporting this program and securing the funding.
On Saturday, December 14, 2013 the Mount Horeb Volunteers will be holding the 25th Annual Lighting of the Tree. The festivities will include a silent parade of fire and emergency apparatus moving slowly through the village at twilight, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The parade will end at Grandma Foster’s Park where a tree and star will be illuminated.
The Mount Horeb Community Band will provide Christmas music. An appearance by the ever popular Santa Claus is quite likely and candy canes will be distributed to children of all ages.
A community wide potluck dinner at the fire station will follow the tree lighting. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. A treat or dish to pass would be much appreciated. We will provide beverages, plates and utensils.