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Recently the Chippewa Fire District and the Lake Hallie Police Department were recognized by the Girl Scouts of Troop 3055 and the American Red Cross for our response to the crash on County Highway P, in the Village of Lake Hallie, on Nov. 3, 2018. The Chippewa Fire District and the Lake Hallie Police Department are very honored to be recognized by both the Red Cross and the Girl Scouts.

I would like to bring the community up to date on the happenings since Nov. 3. While I cannot speak for all of our partners, I can relate to you the events of the Chippewa Fire District, which I can assure you, were repeated at the other agencies that responded to the crash.

November was a blur. Beginning the week after the crash, food began arriving at the station. We began to receive cards and acknowledgements from across the United States. We heard from many, many girl scout troops. We heard from people in the community and the greater Chippewa Valley. Our crews on emergency scenes were thanked for our service and individual members — myself included — were greeted by people we did not know and were thanked once again. We received “Thank You” cards from the families involved.

Several community businesses came together and put on a meal for the Fire District and our partners. The crash affected some of our members greatly. They have reached out to agencies that have helped them work through their feelings. As most of us use County Trunk P in our daily comings and goings we watched as the memorials grew.

We also took notice of the green lights on peoples houses and the green ornaments on trees at Harmony Court in Chippewa Falls. As a board member for Prairie View Cemetery, I have watched people stop out for most of the late fall and winter to visit the resting spots of those no longer with us as a result of that crash.

At Christmas, once again, Station 1 of the Fire District received gifts of food and Christmas goodies from all over the Chippewa Valley. We once again received cards and notes wishing us well. We all thought of the families involved in the crash knowing full well that this would be a difficult Christmas for them.

On March 7, the Chippewa Fire District and Lake Hallie Police Department along with many others were honored by Troop 3055 for helping them on the day of the crash and giving our support later. On March 13, Lake Hallie Police Department and Chippewa Fire District were presented with the Healthcare Hero Award by the American Red Cross, Northwest Wisconsin Red Cross Chapter.

At that breakfast, Cory Jeffers the Deputy Chief of Station 3 of the Chippewa Fire District at the Red Cross Hero’s Breakfast said: “These types of incidents are few and far between and I thank God for that. We succeed as a team, we fail as a team and we heal as a team.”

No truer words were ever spoken.

To honor the Girl Scouts from and of Troop 3055 we invite you to the Hallie Firefighters annual Chicken Feed on Sunday, April 28, between 11 and 3 p.m. We have been fundraising for an off-road piece of rescue equipment for three years and on that Sunday about 12:30 p.m. as part of our annual fundraiser we will dedicate the all-terrain vehicle to the members and relatives of Troop 3055.

On the day of the crash on County Trunk P our members and Lake Hallie police officers carried one of the injured scouts across a field to the helicopter. Back at the station we redoubled our efforts to place an all-terrain vehicle in service. When Station 1 of the Chippewa Fire District responds to a call where the unit is needed it will go into service as Rescue 3055.

To Girl Scout Troop 3055 from all of us who responded to your emergency on Nov. 3, 2018, musician Carole King: “ Now and forever, we’ll remember. all the promises still unbroken. And think about all the words between us, that never needed to be spoken. ... Now and forever, we will always think of you.”

Godspeed, Troop 3055.

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John R. Andersen of Lake Hallie is a former state employee who remains active in the fields of fire prevention, government and education.

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