School teaches firefighting, rescue techniques

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By Peg Wunder

Jan Sayler introduced Brad Milliken who presented a program to Rotary on Monday about the Mobridge Fire Department and also spoke briefly about changes taking place on Grand Crossing.  
Brad said that, because of the dry conditions, July and August were pretty busy for the fire department.  He said that if we get a hard frost killing what green vegetation there is, the fire danger will go even higher. Forty firefighters from the district were here in Mobridge this past weekend for training. There were three very good classes to give the firefighters some hands on experience. They used a single engine plane (SEAT), which is considered an eye in the sky for fighting fires. The plane flies over the fire and pinpoints the exact location so that the fire can be more easily fought and a larger plane can dump water on the area where the single engine plane has sighted the problem. The plane can also sight the most accessible ways for firefighters and equipment to get to the fire if necessary.  The plane, which has been here since March, costs about $2,000 an hour to operate it and is used on both the Standing Rock Reservation and the Cheyenne Indian Reservation with the costs paid by the tribes. The permanent arrangement currently being discussed will be for two such planes to be based in Lemmon, one in Pierre and one here in Mobridge.
The firemen also practiced rescue of people who have been trapped in corn or wheat bins.  And, lastly, they got instruction in doing back-burns to aid in stopping a fire.
The Mobridge Fire Department currently has 15 firefighters.  On Beef ‘n Fun weekend they served a pancake breakfast feeding between 825 and 850 people. They had considerably more people than last year and netted about $8,000, which will be used toward the annual $11,500 payment on the truck. That truck will be paid for in five years.  Brad was asked about the condition of the other trucks and he said they are in pretty good shape.
He spoke briefly about some of the street work that is being done. Fire hydrants on Grand Crossing are in the process of being moved so handicap accessible crossings can be put in.  The Department of Transportation will be doing highway work from the bridge to the Jensen Rock and Sand exit next summer and the hydrants and new crossings need to be finished before they re-surface the highway through town. At present, the Department of Transportation has stated that the highway through Mobridge will remain as it is, two lanes of traffic each way.  The turn at Burger King will also be changed making it an easier truck turning lane.  Brad also stated that work is getting underway on the railroad crossing on the end of Main Street.
After the meeting, Peg Wunder presented Brad Milliken a check for $500 from Rotary for the Mobridge Fire Department.
Rotarians, led by Peg and Leonard Linde sang happy birthday to Darrell Schlepp. Darrell did not divulge his age.
President Elect Linde informed everyone that the first Monday night football winners were Joyce McClellan and Cindi Volk.
Several Rotarians turned in their roses for rotary tickets and money.  Several requested an additional book as they had more people wanting roses than they had tickets.
Harley Overseth will report on the medals for the track meet next week when he is back.
Michelle Harrison, executive director of the Chamber reported that Chamber after 5 will be held Thursday at Northwest Beverage.  She explained that this is usually held on Tuesdays but high school coronation is that night so the Chamber event was moved to Thursday.
Leonard Linde won the 50/50 pot.  Darrell Schlepp will present the program next Monday when Rotary meets at noon at the Moose Lodge.

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