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Fox Valley Fire & EMS collaboration effort underway

Help from the Wisconsin Policy Forum
Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue
Fire gear in Grand Chute
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 18:20:44-04

NEENAH (NBC 26) — Fox Valley Fire and EMS agencies announced a new collaboration approach to improve response within each area. The Wisconsin Policy Forum worked with Neenah-Menasha, Oshkosh, Kaukauna, Appleton and Grand Chute to set up this plane. It includes helping one another in five different areas: community risk reduction, fleet maintenance, quality control and oversight, special operations and training. The goal in mind is to, essentially, share resources.

“We don't run hazmat or hazardous material responses, but we still have to get the training for that," Jim Peglow said, the Assistant Chief of Training in Neenah-Menasha. "So, I contacted Oshkosh, who runs our Winnebago County's hazmat team, and they come up and do some training or we send guys down there to get the training. “

For Peglow, the training aspect of the plan is especially exciting.

"You're utilizing the people to the best of their ability, and we're grabbing and gaining experience and gaining education from those people," Peglow said.

Gaining experience and education, but maintaining an individual identity. Think of it as a helping hand, as opposed to one big fire department. In Grand Chute, the effort has already been in the works with Appleton.

"So, ways in which we can leverage each other to help take the burden off of our crews and our administrative areas, where things can be done together in some ways, helps us all spread ourselves out over the things that need to be done within our communities," said Kelly Hanink, the Assistant Chief of the Grand Chute Fire Department.

Policy Forum leaders say not only will this promote efficiency, but it's also cost saving. The ultimate proposed goal is one Fox Valley Resource Bureau, where experts in each of the five areas can be on hand for support. All of the resources together in one place, and ultimately working together, to work better for the communities.