Beaver Dam Fire Chief Discusses Equipment Problems

1/23/17 – Beaver Dam’s emergency responders had multiple problems with the city’s water rescue equipment in 2016.  That’s according to Fire Chief Alan Mannel who documents three incidents, including one that occurred during a call for service.  Mannel says his department had to call Fox Lake for mutual assistance on a rescue, after a boat capsized and two people ended up in the water north of the Fish Camp boat landing on Beaver Dam Lake.  He says Fox Lake has a newer model boat; similar to the one Beaver Dam is looking to purchase, which was used to recover the capsized boat.  Since Beaver Dam’s boat performs poorly in shallow water due to often hitting the bottom of the lake, Mannel says their water vehicle would have been ‘useless’ in the situation.  According to Mannel, the other two incidents occurred during training, one of which wrecked two of the boat’s propellers.  The City of Beaver Dam is currently finalizing negotiations on a new three-year contract with the five townships that contract rescue services with the city: Calamus, Lowell, Trenton, Westford, and Beaver Dam.  The agreement calls for the townships to cover $55,000 of the $222,000 cost of the new equipment purchases, which Mannel says includes a new boat, new hovercraft, and additional scuba gear.  If the items, which are included in the city’s capital improvements plan, receive council approval, Mannel says they could be purchased and in operation by mid-summer, replacing what he calls ‘the current old, unreliable equipment.’