Fire Departments in Outagamie County got new equipment from federal grant

The Appleton Fire Department displayed its new equipment on January 28th, 2015. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

Wisconsin weather can change in an instant.

And when it comes to battling fires in the elements, it can be tough.

A federal grant is opening up a world of possibilities for fire departments in Outagamie County.

Jim Lincoln, a member of the Outagamie County Community Emergency Response Team, says he's thrilled with the new equipment the county has acquired with that grant.

Lincoln said, "My mouth probably dropped open and I got goosebumps literally."

The new equipment all goes toward making the job a little more tolerable for firefighters and first responders. It includes misting fans, radio equipment, and a portable tent.

The inflatable rehab tent even has heating and cooling inside which responders say is key when out battling fires in the elements.

Lincoln said, "I haven't seen one of these rehab tents in the area at all, so to us its state of the art. We could've used this a couple of weeks ago at a fire because it was about 10 below zero with wind."

While the Appleton Fire Department was the one who applied for the $18,000 grant, the new equipment will be used all throughout Outagamie County.

Len VanderWyst, Appleton Fire Chief, said, "It's not about just Appleton, it's about our community, and our community goes far beyond the borders of the city of Appleton."

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson and Congressman Reid Ribble also collaborated with the city of Appleton to make the grant possible.

VanderWyst said, "We all worked together to make this happen."

And they say they fully support it.

Tom Nelson, Outagamie County Executive, said,T"his is something that I think the entire community should take some pride in. It really takes a lot of different kinds of equipment and resources to allow them to do their job."

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