Tags: Geneva Linn
June 24, 2014 | 12:04 PMLINN — Members of the Geneva Lake Association hope to have enough money raised this summer so the town of Linn can buy a fireboat and have crews trained in its operation before fall.
Dianna Colman, a member of the GLA’s board of directors and who is heading the fireboat project, said the association has raised about 60 percent of the $425,000 to buy and equip the boat and train crew members from each of the fire departments that serve the shore areas of Geneva Lake. The funds are coming entirely from private donations, Colman said.
The boat should benefit homes even one or two streets away from the lakefront, Colman said.
Colman said the GLA is preparing a big push to finish the fundraising so the town can buy the boat and start training crews.
“I’m hopeful to have the boat in the water by later this summer. It would be good to get the firefighters trained,” Colman said.
The GLA has an agreement with the town of Linn that it will turn over money when it has between 80 and 90 percent of the cash raised, Colman said.
Association members and residents living along the lake have donated toward the boat, she said.
The boat will be built by Lake Assault, a division of Fraser Shipyards, Superior. According to information provided by Colman, the aluminum-hulled boat will be 32 feet long and about 10.5 feet wide, with a front drop ramp.
Dry hull weight will be about 11,000 pounds.
While the boat’s primary operating time will be during late spring through fall, the boat is heavy enough to cut its way through six inches of ice, Colman said.
The boat is able to pump 1,500 gallons of water a minute. And while the boat will have a fire hose, the fireboat’s main mission is to be a “floating fire hydrant.” The boat’s pumps will be powerful enough to fill fire tankers at the scene of the fire
The boat will be stationed with the Linn Fire Department and kept on a lift at the end of Shadow Lane on the south shore of Geneva Lake and would be available to all lake municipalities.
The town of Linn is particularly interested in the fireboat, because there are no fire hydrants in the entire town, said Jim Gee, president of the GLA board of directors.
And the town of Linn is divided by Geneva Lake. The town’s fire station is on the south side of the lake, making it difficult to provide fire protection services to the north side.
The Linn Fire Department is dependent on tankers to provide the water necessary to fight fires, and sometimes sources of water are distant from the fire scene, requiring tankers to make lengthy trips to refill.
According to a presentation made by the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission last year by Tom Nichols, a member of the GLA, many of the lakeside homes have restricted access by land. Often the lakeside landscape is steep and driveways into the area narrow.
Getting a fire truck to some fires have been difficult. And some of the lakeside homes are very close to each other, making a fire at one residence a threat to its neighbors.
Lake Geneva Fire Chief Brent Connelly has said that a fireboat could assist the Lake Geneva Fire Department in the case of a downtown fire.
Firefighters from lakefront fire departments were invited to the Line Fire Department in April to view a fireboat similar to the one the association wants to buy, Colman said.
The boat can be operated by a single operator, but two or three serve on the boat for safety reasons, Colman said.
She said fire department tanker drivers would also need some training about how to refill their tanks on the fireboat.
The GLA was established to improve the conservation, preservation, environmental integrity and general welfare of Geneva Lake and its surrounding area. Members pay annual dues and participate in projects and special events sponsored by the association.