Fire crews in Onalaska have two new pieces of equipment to use at fire scenes, thanks to a charitable donation from the community.
Masonic Lodge 214 from Onalaska raised money to buy two more Fire Suppression Tools (FST) for the department, like one they previously donated to the firefighters. Wes Hurlburt from the Masons says the FST is used for quickly reducing dangerous conditions at a fire scene.
“Looks like a kettle ball,” said Hurlburt. “You pull two pins, throw it through a window.”
“In fact, it’s been used in car fires, to throw it under the car, ” he said. “It cools the area down by a thousand degrees in just a matter of seconds.”
The boxes contain an aerosol device that is activated when the FST is thrown into a fire scene. The chemicals inside the container can interrupt a fire and bring down the temperature, often within half-a-minute.
Fire Chief Pete Fletty will have an FST inside his command vehicle. “If we catch a fire, while that person is out in that station car, they’re gonna be able to respond, and likely, they’re gonna be first on scene ’cause they’re already out and about in the city,” said Fletty.
The assistant chief in Onalaska also will carry an FST in a command vehicle.