Caledonia Fire Police Receive $20,000 for Public Safety UTV Purchase | Local News

CALEDONIA – In Wisconsin, where people frequent outdoor recreation such as hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, biking or driving all-terrain vehicles, these activities are not always injury-free.

The Caledonia Fire Department had incidents in which people were injured while not on major roads, but the department was not as well equipped as it could have been to better serve these people.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Henningfeld said the department’s current Humvee used for such incidents isn’t as nimble and can’t access some of the smaller trails. However, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Geiger Family Foundation, as well as other donations, Caledonia Fire and Police now have enough money to purchase an all-terrain utility vehicle to help in these and other incidents.

The Geiger Family Foundation is a private foundation in Milwaukee that is known for supporting public safety.

Members of the Caledonia Fire Department surround Police Chief Christopher Botsch, Fire Chief Jeffrey Henningfeld, Geiger Family Foundation Vice President Theresa Kent, Village Trustees Holly McManus and Dale Stillman (at center) Thursday morning at the Common Public Safety building that houses the PD and DF, 6900 Nicholson Road.

Rachel Kubik

“We would like to give them the tools to do their jobs,” said Theresa Kent, vice president of the Geiger Family Foundation. She presented a check for $20,000 to the two departments Thursday morning at the Joint Public Safety Building at 6900 Nicholson Road.

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This UTV is the third purchased by a public safety department in the southeast Wisconsin area that the foundation has helped fund in the past five years.

The joint public safety VUTT will provide rescue and security services in Caledonia, including on public and private property, parks and trails. He will be able to access areas inaccessible to traditional vehicles.

The Caledonia PD and FD plan to purchase the UTV in the next few days and have it in service by this summer.

“It’s good for Caledonia,” village trustee Dale Stillman said, noting that the finances for that set of wheels didn’t fall into the hands of the taxpayers. “To receive so much money from a single donor is spectacular.”

“Precious Equipment”

Henningfeld first expressed the need for a new UTV last summer, but the department couldn’t afford it.

CFD looked for ways to raise funds for UTV. It came with donations and grants from individuals, the Johnson Foundation, and a motorcycle club.

Village administrator Holly McManus already had a connection to the Geiger Family Foundation, as she had previously given a grant for a UTV to McManus’ agency, the St. Francis Police Department in Milwaukee County.

“In these times, it’s harder to find grants and donations,” McManus said. “It was huge for me because we have a diverse population that lives and visits here. We have a lot of people exploring nature, this vehicle helps focus on those nature lovers.

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Left to right, Battalion Chief Walter Leininger, Police Chief Christopher Botsch, Fire Chief Jeffrey Henningfeld, Geiger Family Foundation Vice President Theresa Kent, and Village Trustees Holly McManus and Dale Stillman shares a laugh Thursday morning at the Public Safety Building that houses the PD and DF, 6900 Nicholson Road.

Rachel Kubik

The vehicle must be fully functional on the road and will be equipped with lights, sirens, patient carrier, rope equipment and a chainsaw. Both departments are looking for additional vehicle accessories, such as add-ons that help the vehicle navigate snowy terrain.

The fire department plans to use it for rescues after outdoor accidents or other outdoor medical emergencies.

Henningfeld said the vehicle could be used for larger events such as festivals where an ambulance may not be suitable for navigating large crowds. Using it for bushfires could also be a possibility.

“I can’t wait to use it and be able to demonstrate its need,” Henningfeld said. “It’s valuable equipment.”

The police department plans to use it to find a missing child or chase down a potential criminal who might be fleeing into the woods. For major incidents, both the police and fire department could be there, McManus said.

Police Chief Christopher Botsch said when searching for a potential suspect or criminal away from main roads, police usually had to pull over and walk to the person.

“It gives another option,” Botsch said. “We’re excited to have another tool at our disposal.”

The departments also plan to use the vehicle for community policing and community interaction. Although Botsch said the PD was nothing set in stone, the PD could use it for the department’s Community Care Day in August.

McManus also said his agency uses his UTV to appear in parades and get kids on the vehicle.

“During special events, it’s a different way of interacting with citizens. It sparks its own conversation,” Botsch said. “We greatly appreciate the foundation and the generosity it has shown us. »