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Onalaska firefighters get donation of new equipment to quickly extinguish fires



Local Masonic Lodge members donate new equipment to the Onalaska Fire Department

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.

A Fire Suppression Tool (FST) contains chemicals that can quickly reduce the intensity of a fire

“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.

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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