Pine River keeps the wreath green

Pine River residents “kept the wreath green,” as the town’s volunteer fire department was not called out to any structure fires during the holiday season A wreath hung at the Pine River fire station was lit with all green bulbs at the start of the holidays. For every structure fire, a green bulb would be replaced with a white one. After New Years, the Pine River wreath was still all green.
“We thank everyone in the community for their fire safety efforts and awareness in keeping the wreath green,” said Lori Wendt of the Pine River Volunteer Fire Department.
The Pine River Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 2005. The department formerly taught fire safety at Pine River Elementary School, until the school was closed last year. They are hoping to start teaching fire safety at the Pine River School for Young Learners, which now occupies the building.
In addition to responding to fire calls, the department offers fire inspections, CO checks, and a team of first responders assist at emergency scenes. In 2012 the Pine River Volunteer Fire Department responded to 45 fire calls and 47 First Responder calls.
The Pine River Volunteer Fire Department is involved in community events as well. Fund raisers help the department make purchases and improvements not covered by the town budget. The annual pig roast has become a successful major fund raiser for the department.
The biggest project of the year was the installation of a tower, antennae and repeater system for improved communications. The Pine River department is working off a repeater at Irma, but since the FCC has mandated that all radio traffic go narrow band, the distance and quality of signals has been reduced.
“We decided to do something about it,” said Fire Chief John Uttech. “That’s where our fund raiser funds have gone the past couple of years.”
A new, 93-foot tower was installed next to the fire station and the repeater is close to being operational.

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