Backus Fire Chief Jason Smith on Monday, June 3, presented the Backus City Council with funds the department received from helping fight wildfires in Menahga.
Smith said the fire department received more than $9,000 for sending firefighters to help fight that wildfire this spring. The department was paid $150 per hour for sending tanker trucks with two personnel, and $200 per hour for pump trucks with two personnel. Some personnel responded for three or four days. Smith said the department responded with three trucks the first night, two trucks the second night, and continued to contract a tanker truck with the DNR for days after that.
After receiving approval from the council to pay the responding Backus firefighters $11 per hour according to their contract with the DNR, Smith reported a remaining profit of approximately $7,000.
Smith asked for approval to buy equipment for the fire department, including a vent saw with bullet chain for a price not to exceed $2,500; hoses and Storz hose adapters for a cost not to exceed $500; two cribbing blocks for $146 per set; a 2,000-gallon self-supporting drop tank for $1,500; and firefighter name badges with photo identification.
Smith told the council that the department would be installing an air compressor system in the fire hall to maintain pressure in air brake systems for emergency response vehicles. The department needs one compressor unit and four air hoses. The cost would come to about $600.
Fire department contracts with local communities pay for updates to equipment. Because of these contracts, the Backus Fire Department currently has funds to make these updates. Purchases were approved.