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75th SWNIFRA Fire School in Monroe Wisconsin

I had the pleasure of visiting with some outstanding firefighters at the "75th" Southern Wisconsin Northern Illinois Fire Rescue Association fire school in Monroe Wisconsin this weekend. The conference was very attended with a great program with a real local focus. The school started 75 years ago and for several years it rotated from city to city and eventually found its home in Monroe. The Monroe folks have some outstanding facilities and an incredible FD with exceptional leadership the school uses a variety of sites around Monroe and the folks there could not be nicer.

I learned all about making cheese and the history of the cheese industry in the region. If you get up there it is really worth your time taking a tour and seeing the old world craftsmanship involved. The pub's are plentyfull the beer is clod and the staff are Wisconson friendly!


the photo to the right is the Monroe FD live burn training tower which was used for search classes and live fire training. 

Below is the repeling tower, all the training facilities were purchased with funds raised by the Monore Fire Department, as the chief said there are a lot of bake sales and pancake breakfasts represented here!











The training staff was lead by Shane Boehmke, he and his crew did an outstanding job. The school had some of America’s Fire Service best teaching there including Engine guru and fire stream expert Captain Dave Fornell, Chicago retired chief and command expert Andy O’Donnell, world class prop designer Mark Henningfeld, and forcible entry wizard Paul Yakowenko, agricultural accident and farm emergency response legend Mark Baker, and Fire Engineering’s dear friend photographer and world class fire officer David Traiforos. 



These are mobile home Dave's crew transformed into a world class live burn class.






Below is Stateline Farm Rescue's custom built grain bin entrapment simulator. They run a comprehensive course on grain bin design and structure, as well as the dangers involved in working with this equipment.A must attend program for anyone who responds to farms. 



The school ran from Friday to Sunday and was an outstanding experience, the efforts of the board of directors of the SWNIFRA continues to produce some of the most dedicated and well trained firefighters in the nation. Lets hope the next 75 years are just as successful.

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Comment by John Ford III on August 27, 2011 at 12:30pm
   Took a couple of classes from Dave Fornell back in the 90's.   Looking forward to a update of his Fire Stream Management Book.

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