Volunteers can assist firefighters during an emergency call

By Chad Koenen


Do you want to help out the fire department, but cannot make all of the meetings and training sessions? Perhaps you recently retired from a fire department, but still want to help out where possible? The Deer Creek Fire Department may have just the answer for you—a new volunteer firefighter assistant program.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 25, the Deer Creek City Council heard about a program, which allows residents and retired firefighters to help with emergencies by doing everything from driving a fire truck, getting water and helping with traffic control. 

Deer Creek Fire Chief Travis Collins said he hopes to get five people signed up for the program, which would allow trained and active firefighters to concentrate on fighting the fires inside, instead of worrying about getting more water or move equipment. Participants who are part of the program wouldn’t fight the fire indoors and would have minimal training to attend. 

“A lot of times if we only have six guys available on a fire call, I don’t want to have one of my guys, who should be on the interior, to go drive a truck and get water. They don’t have to make all of the trainings and it would just give someone an option to still help out the fire department.”

Travis Collins, Deer Creek Fire Chief

Collins said the commitment would be minimal, but would help the small fire department out by providing extra assistance during a time of need.

“It would be just another option for people to help in the community,” he said. “It might be one or two times a year we need them, but when we need them we need them.”

The city council approved moving forward with the program. 

In other news

• Heard the New York Mills Police Department logged 31 hours of service in the community last month. They responded to a variety of calls including four medical calls, one assault, a parking complaint, civil dispute and driving complaints. The city council also discussed how to proceed with cleaning up properties in the community that are not in line with the city’s ordinances. 

• Approved a drinking water revolving fund application for the city’s water tower rehabilitation and well house rehabilitation projects. The city council is hoping to get PFA funding, which could include some grant funding. The total estimated cost of the projects was $424,000, and if funding can be secured, the goal was to complete the projects in the summer of 2023. 

• Heard a curb stop wasn’t frozen at a property located at 400 Main as originally thought. The resident has had issues with the water freezing over the course of the winter and the city will continue to look into a solution for the issue. 

• Approved applying for a grant to replace some of the aging hoses for the fire department. The 50/50 grant is from the DNR and could provide up to $5,000 for the fire department when including the match. In the event the fire department doesn’t receive the grant, the city council approved contributing $2,500 to the fire department to replace some of the hoses in need. 

• Discussed safe places for residents to go in the event of inclement weather. The community center was designated as the emergency gathering place for those in need. 

• Heard that the hazardous waste pick up day is scheduled for Aug. 24 at the fire hall.