APPLETON, Wis. — Fire departments from neighboring communities are filling in so that friends of fallen Appleton firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard can have the time they need to grieve.
Firefighters from Oshkosh, Grand Chute, Neenah and Menasha are all sending crews to Appleton to give their fellow first responders a much-needed break.
Grand Chute’s Assistant Fire Chief, Brian Schommer, says it's a courtesy that's been honored for years in the profession whenever a department is dealing with major hardships like the loss of one of their members.
"We don't have extra staffing, so to speak,” Schommer says. “But we put the call out on Wednesday and Thursday that we needed people to staff a couple of rigs and help out and our guys stepped up like they always do and came in."
According to the assistant chief, back in 2013, the Grand Chute Fire Department lost a member of their team and Appleton was quick to send a crew their way. Schommer adds that acts like that give firefighters dealing with a loss the opportunity to go to their friend’s funeral and grieve.