The Orange City Fire Department was called out for a fire on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, on the north edge of Orange City.
According to Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, at about 11:40 a.m., the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of a controlled burn that went out of control and jumped the creek at 1001 7th Street Northwest (the old Christmas tree farm) in Orange City.
The chief says the fire department saw grass and trees on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used 1-inch forestry hose to put out the fire, but it was somewhat difficult to access as it was on both sides of the creek.
Vander Wel says no injuries were reported.
The fire department was assisted by the Alton Fire Department, who brought a water tanker.
Chief Vander Wel reports that the damage was limited to about a half-acre.
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The Paullina Ambulance Service has a new set of wheels and recently put it to use for its first patient transport in the southern O’Brien County community.
Service director and emergency medical technician Lauri Struve completed that transport Sunday night.
“It feels pretty good. It’s different,” said Struve, who added the previous vehicle predated her 11-year tenure serving on the emergency medical services organization.
The EMS team purchased the used vehicle from the Granville Fire and EMS Association and switched it into service in early July.
“It’s not a brand-new ambulance, but it’s new to us,” Struve said.
The new ride was supposed to transfer ownership from Granville EMS to Paullina Ambulance in December. However, there was a delay stemming from Granville buying a used ambulance from Moville, a city which in turn was waiting for its new ambulance to arrive.
The Ainsworth Fire Department has added a UTV to its fleet. The vehicle is equipped with a skid unit, as well as a water tank and pump, additions Fire Chief Waylon Schultz said would make it pivotal in rural rescues and fighting grass fires.
“Especially in the spring months when it’s really wet outside, a lot of the times our fire trucks can’t drive out in the field in soft spots because they’re too heavy and will get stuck,” he said. “UTVs are lighter, so you can drive in the wet areas without getting stuck, and put the fire out.”
Schultz said the equipment was much-needed. While the department typically handles 3-4 grass fires annually, he said it responded to as many as 26 in one particularly dry year. Previously, the department responded to those with one pickup truck, and otherwise on foot.
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