Town of Winchester Fire Department looks to the community to help buy equipment

11 November 2020

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USA – TOWN OF WINCHESTER, Wis. (WBAY) – A Winnebago County fire department wants to add to its fleet of vehicles. The Town of Winchester is hoping to purchase a UTV or utility terrain vehicle to better serve its community.

Two dozen volunteer firefighters and EMS make up the Town of Winchester Fire Department. The deputy chief tells Action 2 News the department is looking to grow both in manpower and in machinery.

With nearly 40% of the town made up of farmland, marsh, and trails, the department responds to a large number of wildland fires and other remote emergencies. It was just eight days ago, the department had to battle a wildland fire that burned more than 450 acres. The department has to ask for help with emergencies in hard to reach locations.

According to Dep. Chief Tim Kempen, “The restrictions is just basically access, rough terrain, wet terrain, wooded areas, where you wouldn’t be able to get your common pickup truck through. We have the same disadvantages with our equipment.”

The department is looking to add a UTV to its fleet, but $35,000 to $40,000 price tag is a bit steep for the department to pay on its own. So, it’s reaching out to the community looking for help.

“We have contacted some local dealers to see if we can get assistance. There are grants available that we are applying for. We do a fundraiser, with craft fair every fall and that’s helped to donate monies to the fund and we’ve had some private donations that have come in,” says Kempen.

The Deputy Chief wants to stress that the community is not in any danger without this equipment, having it however would just make things easier on the department and lessen the need to call in for mutual aid. He adds, “We have a good working relationship with neighboring departments that have this equipment, it’s just something that would enhance our services to our community and improve our response time.”

The department is continuing to accept donations and it’s looking for any other ideas or resources to make the purchase happen.

Donations can be mailed to the Town of Winchester Fire Department, UTV FUND-TWFD, 8522 Parkway Lane, Larsen, WI 54947

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