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Fire department sharing studied in La Crosse

Brad Williams

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A big fire this week in downtown La Crosse has called attention to the possible need for mutual aid among local fire departments. 

A consultant from the Wisconsin Policy Forum, Rob Henken, tells the La Crosse judiciary and administration committee that area towns seem to work together well in emergencies.

“The reports that I have seen (about the Pearl Street fire) is that the response was effective, that mutual aid worked well,” said Henken.

The Monday night fire at Brothers and the Casino Bar brought 18 vehicles and more than 50 firefighters to the scene, with the five fire departments in the immediate area all represented. and a state consultant says that

Henken says Holmen could use more fire protection, saying fire calls in Holmen and La Crescent have risen more than 25 per cent in recent years. 

Henken says fire departments in the region might consider pooling resources into a north and south fire district, but his study says sharing could actually cost an extra $2 million a year in the region.   

   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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