(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission Tuesday night gave the go ahead to the fire chief to seek Requests for Proposals for a facilities and staffing study. An ad hoc committee was formed earlier this year at the request of Chief Alan Mannel to look at the possibility of going to referendum for a second fire station and additional personnel. Mannel told the PFC that the committee has met twice and at its most recent meeting last Wednesday the recommendation was made to undertake the study. He says when the committee reviewed successful referendums in Beaver Dam and other communities it was noted that they each had a study that included documentation and support from outside experts giving an objective interpretation of needs.
Mannel suggested that the study could be paid for with excess monies from the department’s Inter-Facilities Transport Program, which would require common council approval. The revenue-generating IFT program uses city personnel and ambulances to transport non-emergency patients between hospitals when crews are not busy with local emergency calls. As of November 28, Beaver Dam is 72 calls over last year’s number of transports with 344 transports compared to 272. The additional revenue netted the city around $21-thousand dollars more than projected.
The Beaver Dam fire station is located at South Lincoln and Henry streets. Mannel has said that an ideal location for a second station would target the Highway 151 and County Highway B corridor. He had previously stated that it takes personnel eight minutes to respond to the city’s largest recreational facility, the YMCA, and 13 minutes to get to the city’s largest employer, the Walmart Distribution Center. When the ad hoc committee was formed, Mannel said if the north side station is constructed another nine, full-time firefighter/paramedics would be needed at the new facility, three per shift. The city has since budgeted for one additional firefighter-paramedic.