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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:00 pm 
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Last weekend Tomahawk & Nokomis Fire Departments hosted the "17th Annual" Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School. Close to 1000 Fire Fighters & EMS workers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, & Minnesota came to Tomahawk to attend & help out with these classes. There were over 25 "different" classes to choose from. Not only did they receive classroom lectures they received "hands on training." These classes offer the training these fire fighters & EMS workers need to continue their jobs. Some of the classes that were offered included: Vehicle Fires, Vehicle & Bus Extrication, Farm Extrication, High Level/Angle Rescue, Water Rescue, Learn thru Burn, Advanced Fire Investigation..etc, etc. It takes a "Special Person" to do what these men and women do everyday. They leave their families & homes at "all hours" and in "all kinds of weather" to save lives!!! They enter burning buildings to search for our loved ones & to save our personal belongings. They pull our loved ones out of freezing waters & mangled up vehicles. They never think twice about what they do because they are Trained to do it. They are the first we call in our time of need & when they enter a burning building they never know their fate. In two days we will once again remember with sadness what occurred on U.S. soil two years ago. Some of these men & women that attended Tomahawk's Fire & Rescue school were there!! They went to help their brothers & sisters.
Like I said it was Tomahawk's "17th" Annual Fire & Rescue School - but did Tomahawk Recognize them??? NO. Oh....there was a "small" article in our local newspaper somewhere towards the back. An event that took place in another city made front page news!! Then today I open the newspaper - still nothing!!! Also, there was not one sign from our local businesses that said, "Welcome Fire Fighters" however, I see there were signs out Sunday already for the next upcoming event!! If anyone took a ride through town they would have seen fire trucks parked infront of our local motels & yes, these fire fighters & EMS personnel did spend money in our local businesses too!! But were these "HEROS" welcomed, NOPE!! Our local radio station was the only one that really recognized this event. I understand this event does not bring in the money other fall events do......but they still drop a pretty penny here!! Well, I would like to honor these men & women and Thank them for coming to Tomahawk. What a great Fire School you put on!! I understand every year it gets BIGGER & BETTER!! Maybe at next years 18th Annual Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School you'll have a warmer welcome!! Too bad it takes a tragedy for Fire Fighters & EMS workers to make Front page News.

<small>[ September 19, 2003, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: surenough ]</small>


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:43 am 
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They are HEROS without spending a dime, no matter what town they are in.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:12 am 
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Thanks Nugget!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:20 pm 
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Fire Fighters and EMTs are always the "UNSUNG HEROS." What a shame that is. People dont appreciate them untill they need them. :o


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:16 pm 
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Tie to Tomahawk: Fourth generation native.
Why not drop a note in the guestbook at TFD Online and let them know! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:24 am 
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Well my hats off to the "Merrill" Foto News - Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School "did" make front page news! But like I said before.....to bad
Tomahawks own locals don't give the same support. :confused:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:44 am 
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Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School DID make front page news THIS WEEK!! Thanks!! However, after reading our local newspaper "In Our Opinion" this week, I do have to comment. There is still NO REASON why an event out of town made front page news the week of Fire School. Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School still should have made front page new. It was an important LOCAL upcoming event. There doesn't have to pictures to announce this event just a nice FRONT PAGE article. Let the community know! I understand the timeline for pictures to follow this event, that wasn't the issue here. The issue was once again, an out of town event made front page news (with color) & a small artice of the upcoming Fire School was towards the back. No welcome Fire Fighters.....nothing!!! It is my hope that next year and in the years to follow, Tomahawk Fire & Rescue School will have a warmer WELCOME!! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:32 pm 
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Surenough (and everyone else),

At the end of this message you will find a link to this week’s editorial that Surenough is referring too.

First, I would like to point out that just because something isn’t on the front page of the newspaper doesn’t mean it isn’t important. We feel very strongly that the Fire School is vital both to our community and others. However, the front section alone of the issue being discussed was fourteen pages. The story of the Fire School was placed on page five, not quite “towards the back” as described.

The out-of-town event that is described as taking up the front page was a photo spread of Harley’s 100th Birthday Celebration, an event with definite ties to the area. Photo spreads have a tendency to appear on the front page of any newspaper, especially if they are in vibrant colors. There was a description of the photos, as appears with nearly every picture, but not a story.

More importantly, the Fire School itself was NOT encouraging public attendance as they have in past years. This fact alone would help keep the story off the front page. In addition we were not told the location of many of the events (the training fires) until immediately before the fire itself, and even that required a follow-up request for the information. We are reluctant to place a large story on the front page telling everyone about the Fire School if those putting the event together don’t want the public to attend.

Finally, there were no press releases issued for this event. Press releases help provide much of the information needed to put together an article (even if it is simply contact information).

As previously stated, we feel the Fire School is a very important event. We also feel strongly that everything in the newspaper (not just the front page) is important or we wouldn’t put it there. We also took into consideration changes to this year’s Fire School, other events, etc. when deciding the placement of that week’s stories.

Please read the editorial for more information on the Tomahawk Leader’s involvement with local rescuers and this issue.

9-16-03 Editorial

<small>[ September 16, 2003, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: Webmaster ]</small>


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:22 pm 
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Thanks......hopefully next year this will change!!
As always, the public WAS invited to attend this event down at Sara Park. Several different local fire fighters were on the radio inviting the public down to Sara Park to see all of the different fire trucks (including Tomahawk's new one) along with the Spirit of Marshfield Helicopter. Live and Learn right??? Next year there WILL be a PRESS RELEASE!!!! As far as there being no "Welcome Fire Fighters" signs there were none!! Also, in the past the Leader DID have on the Front Page a colorful front with a fire fighter and it did say "Welcome Fire Fighters".....maybe next year!?? :roll: Like I said....."Live and Learn."


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:41 pm 
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Surenough, you seem to be quite dedicated to making sure that firefighters and other emergency workers get the thanks and attention that they deserve. However, like a lot of other good causes, not everyone feels obligated to give thanks where thanks is due. I admire your efforts, having been a firefighter.

I do question your quoted number of firefighter guests that the Fire and Rescue School brings in. You claim over 1000 attended 25 different classes. I doubt that all of the classes averaged 40 students; most likely have limits in order to accommodate enough hands-on time for everyone. Since many classes are one day classes, the same person may have attended two separate ones. Perhaps you or someone closer to the Fire School can more accurately quantify the actual number of unique people that come to the event as trainers and students. I think that any event that brings good people to town, whether on motorcycles or in firetrucks, is good for the area; but exaggerated estimates of attendees or the impact on the community is unnecessarily misleading. If the number is 1000+, I apologize in advance for questioning your statement. I have the same healthy level of skepticism for the Harley weekend estimates.

If you want more community participation beyond the dance and displays, why not have some interactivity during the event? Couldn't a class on running a successful fire prevention program be held in the morning, and then have the trainees give demonstrations/presentations to kids and adults in the afternoon? Oneida County has a fire safety trailer and robotic firefighter dog that could be attractions; you could have an engine with a low pressure line that kids could spray at a target (maybe a plywood house with drop down "fire targets" in the windows?). With appropriate liability coverage, you could probably give or "sell" firetruck rides in the crew cab demo units; what better way to light up a kids eyes and plant the seed for future generations of firefighters? Or, get an aerial unit that could give folks a new view of town from 100+ feet up (okay, there's the liability thing again.) How about an antique fire equipment muster and demonstration? If you want the town to embrace the event, you have to get the public involved from more than just a fundraising and publicity aspect.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 8:37 am 
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Russell - the numbers are pretty accurate!! I really appreciate all of your suggestions..I will surely bring them to the committee. The committee HAS tried to get the public down to Sara Park (even with the Boy Scouts all you can eat Spaghetti dinner) - but they just don't come down. Anyway, like I've said, I just want for next year and in future years a warmer Welcome for all of the visiting fire fighters and EMS personnel. Thanks again!! ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 7:32 pm 
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Russell,
The numbers that you say are misleading, are not as misleading as you may think. There may not be exactly 1,000 students in the classes, but you have to take in account that most of the time each student brings a spouse or significant other that is usually a part of their department or local EMS. Due to cut backs in many rural departments, the department that may have sent 10 people to the school,now only sends 2-5. In speaking with these departments, they still have many of their members come to the school, because they enjoy the comeradery. Maybe it should be rephrased, that we have over 1,000 department members that come to the school and the festivities. I will end this post with a question for you Russell, Where were all of these great ideas when you were a part of the school?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:45 pm 
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Ladder 49, there seems to be a disparity between Surenough's statement (over 1000 came to attend classes) and your rephrasing that over 1000 came to the school and festivities, but not all attended classes. What did the ones that came to the school, but not the classes, do both days? There weren't many that participated in the spouse event, were there? Since I assume you are involved in the planning, you should easily be able to quantify the number of unique individuals that actually took classes, based on the registrations. That would bring some factual resolution to the difference in statements.

Surenough seems to be disappointed in the publicity that the event generated. I don't know what the current goals of the fire school are now, but when I was involved in the planning, I thought we tried to put on a quality training event first, and a fundraiser/dance secondly. With only two fire departments involved at the time (with less equipment and other resources than are involved now), we concentrated on class and training locations, instructors, equipment, transportation and meal logistics, and some time on the Saturday dance and raffle. The dance usually had a band and I think St. Mary's did a grilled chicken meal. I don't recall attracting the public down to Sara Park as a big priority other than the radio ads and maybe some newpaper or poster exposure in town; perhaps that has changed?

What are the goals and priorities of the Fire and Rescue School? Is it a training event, fundraiser, public education, or publicity/public entertainment event? Most likely it is a combination of several of the above, but if you try to make all of these elements priorities, you will succeed at none. I gave ideas in my last posting to give it more of a public education/entertainment (edutainment?) slant in order to address Surenough's concern about public involvement, but that was not a goal when I was involved with the planning. And doing the things I mentioned requires additional resources (human and financial) that the planning committee may not have or want to spend.

I also think that there needs to be consideration that the timing of the fire school (the weekend after Labor Day and before the Harley Fall Ride) may not be the best time to have the school, if you're looking for public attendance and attention. Locals are coming off of a shortened work week, the first week of school, for some the first relaxing weekend after the summer tourism season, while others are prepping for the following week and weekend, especially as the Fall Ride grows in duration and size. Yet another raffle, in the midst of other raffles and calendar fundraiers, is not a big draw. If the event is planned for the same weekend next year, you'll be dealing with the 3rd anniversay of 9/11/01 on the Saturday of Fire School weekend... another delicate matter that needs to be factored into the planning for the overall event.

Like the Fall Ride, Tomahawk is fortunate to have this event that brings people to the area. You have to carefully manage the priorities in support of the event's goals and accommodate the growth potential with new ideas and additional resources, while keeping the actual facts and figures of the results in perspective.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:17 pm 
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You know Russell....... :mad: it's about a WARMER WELCOME!!! Is it so hard to publish "Welcome Fire Fighters" on the front page of the Tomahawk Leader (this was done in previous years). As far as your suggestions for next year - the dates are set. I feel it will be even more special to these HERO'S!! Last year we had a beautiful memorial to honor 9/11. There was a list of ALL 343 Fire Fighters that lost their lives as a result of 9/11. A beautiful speech was read and taps was played. The back of Sara Park was full of these fire fighters (I suppose you'll want an exact number of this too....can't help you there). It was a heart warming event. Is it too much to ask to help Welcome these men and women that come to Tomahawk???? :confused:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:41 am 
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Surenough, it is apparent that we have different perceptions and expectations. Please check your private messages for a reply from me.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:45 am 
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Russell, I edited my opening topic for you. If you will look it now reads that Close to 1000 & that they attended & helped out with these classes. There now I'm ACCURATE!! In speaking with Ladder 49 and others in the local fire service, they tell me that you do not even live in this area anymore & they are not going to argue how they run fire school with you in such a public forum, as I am NOT going to also. Obvious you have some issues that were not resolved when you left the area and your involvement in the school. Perhaps this is why you missed the whole original point of my topic.....A WARMER WELCOME!! Again, I do not wish to discuss numbers nor this topic with YOU any longer. :cool:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:14 pm 
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Surenough, I did not come here to look for an argument; I was looking for a clarification on your original statement and offered some ideas based on the messages from you and Ladder 49. It seems that I have unintentionally created a sensitive topic of discussion. I think that you and Ladder 49 have addressed my original inquiry sufficiently, at least from a semantics aspect.

Although I am no longer a Tomahawk area resident, I certainly still have roots in the area and visit frequently. I look forward to opportunities to continue my support and participation in the local events, especially those related to the fire service. Whenever I meet a firefighter in SE Wisconsin, I ask if they have been to the Fire School, and if not, I refer them to the web site. I hope to return someday as a resident to resume my involvement in the local community and fire department service.

I admire your passion on this topic, but your sarcasm, assumptions and criticism of my past involvement and me personally are not accurate, not warranted and not beneficial to your cause. In the spirit of professional courtesy, I suggest that we take any further discussions of this topic off the public forum, as I tried to do earlier today.

I will continue to support the efforts of the local emergency service workers both in the Tomahawk area and in the community in which I now live. I hope that the growth and success of the annual Fire School continues… it's good for the community, good for the local emergency agencies and good for the people from other areas that attend it.


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