Silver Lake Village Board approves new firefighter turnout gear

silver-lake-fd-doorThe Silver Lake Village Board approved the purchase of three sets of turnout gear for new Silver Lake Fire Department firefighters.

But that was not until after village President Sue Gerber struck three fire department related items — including the turnout gear purchase — from the agenda as violating a policy passed in 1995.

Trustee Pat Dunn had placed items on the agenda relating to:

  1. Discuss/Possible Action concerning Allison Draeger as Fire Chief of Silver Lake Fire Dept.
  2. Discuss/Possible Action concerning the purchase of turnout gear for those member of the Silver Lake Fire Dept. in need of such gear.
  3. Discuss/Possible Action concerning the purchase of tires for the Silver Lake Fire Department equipment truck.

During president’s agenda, Gerber said she was striking the above items plus another put on the agenda by Dunn because it violated a policy that said only the president, clerk and appropriate committee chairman can place an item on the agenda. Dunn recently had himself removed as chairman of any village committee.

But the turnout gear item saw new life after Gerber discussed her meeting with the fire department and her efforts to secure a donation of turnout gear from another, unnamed area fire department that had a surplus. Former village President Jeff Albrecht made a point of order from the audience, saying that Gerber discussing the turnout gear item effectively put it back onto the agenda. Village attorney Linda Gray confirmed that was the case for the one agenda item. Dunn then made a motion to purchase the turnout gear if two additional quotes could be obtained and not to exceed $5,000 total. The motion passed with Trustee Chris Willkomm voting against and Trustee Carolyn Dodge absent.

After the meeting, Gerber said she still was interested in completing the donation deal with the other department, if that could be done within the next 48 hours.

But Draeger, who has been elected chief of the department by membership but has not been recognized as such by the Village Board, said after the meeting that due to the custom fitting of turnout gear that the offer of a donation was not likely to work out.

When later in the  meeting a fifth item put on the agenda by Dunn came up for action, Gerber said she had scratched that one too, though she had not mentioned it in her earlier remarks.


  1. Bernard Punslely says:

    Roger Johnson stated we should not be looking to spend money(for the fire department)until we see how we end up with the November 4th vote to dissolve(or not). Yet the board had no trouble approving vouchers for payment, discussing the IT proposal, authorizing the Deputy Clerk to attend a seminar in Elkhart Lake, and discussing a loan for the storm water project. If any of you SL firefighters have not figured it out yet, the support (or lack of it!)and lack of respect shown by most of your board members is disheartening. Chris Willkomm voted NO to providing you with proper safety gear! Keep your heads held up high, keep supporting Chief Draeger….she’s got your back, make sure you have hers.

  2. Concerned Firefighter says:

    Chris Willkomm voted NO. Go figure.

  3. Question says:

    Why would Mr. Willkomm or any other board member vote to spend money before November? Those who want so badly to be Salem, ask Salem to pay for your new toys. I’m sure someone will post about how crucial this new gear is, or that you can’t purchased used or borrow someone else’s,,,, give me a break.

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    No gear for the firefighters, but board members can use taxpayer dollars to send the deputy clerk to Elkhart Lake for a seminar? There’s a real PRIORITY. Just curious to all you SLFD bashers out there….WHO do YOU call if you have a fire emergency at your home? Didn’t realize firefighter turnout gear was considered “toys”. I’ll ask again….are any of our police vehicles 16 years old? tires on them? Police uniforms/safety gear? ditto for public works……those departments’ budgeted requests are considered vital, fire department’s are considered “toys”. You have OBVIOUSLY never WORN turnout gear. Think a public works guy would “borrow” somebody elses used safety work boots? think a cop would “borrow” somebody else’s used gun? Our firefighters are finally standing up and saying ENOUGH!! They have a Fire Chief and Command Staff that will support their efforts to upgrade the SLFD…”toys” or not!! Just curious..have we stopped any other village expenditures because of the upcoming vote? Just the fire department’s. Punish them some more!

  5. To Question says:

    All I am going to says is Dumb.

  6. @ Question says:

    I’m going to TRY to say this in the most polite way I know how to……You sit at your computer and talk smack about how a certified firefighter that gets up at 2 am for a structure fire and risks his or her life for there fellow man should use used out of date, non compliant NFPA turnout gear or better yet have multiple certified firefighters use the same pair of gear?!?!?! Are you joking? Better yet when these certified firefighters leave there family on holidays and birthdays to go to the car crash in downtown Silver Lake, let’s make them use old out of date ripped turnout gear so that they can cut themselves on all the broken glass and sharp edges of the cars! Well were at it let’s make these men and women share SCBA tanks and masks and you know what why not nomex hoods to?

    I have one last thing to say to you and I have EARNED the right to say it! How dare you disrespect my fellow brothers & sisters! We and our family’s give up so much to come help you in your time of need! I don’t come to your front door and ask for your insurance card when your child is in need of medical care! I don’t ask to see your homeowners insurance when your home is on fire! I am here to serve & protect my fellow man and the community!

    I took the worth to heart just like my brothers & sisters on SLFD AND SLRS! Before you sit down again and type up some garbage I challenge you to come help us fight the fires and run on the ambulance! Don’t sit there and complain & talk smack if your not coming out to help

    Yours Truly

    A Proud Firefighter/EMT

  7. @ Question says:

    By the way, my $3,000.00 pair of turnout gear is not a toy! is not a toy! It is a tool that allows me to come help your family on there worst day!

  8. "Your turn out gear? says:

    I wonder how many of these wanna-be fire fighters would complain about wearing used gear if they had to buy their own?

  9. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Question: Well said….you and your fellow firefighters keep your heads up high. Your services and committment to our community ARE appreciated by MOST of us! The “whiners and naysayers”, red jackets and all, have YET to offer an alternative to the financial woes facing the SLFD…….or sure, they’ll tell you to go our and sell more bratwursts and run baggo tournaments to provide yourselves with proper gear and equipment, and chastise you if you do not! The dismal support you receive from most of the board members is truly disheartening.
    Remember, should the DISSOLVE movement succeed, most of you firefighters will be retained by the TSFR department. You will have unprecedented upgrades in your training, budgetary needs, level of service provided, and the level of RESPECT community members will show towards you. So hang in there…keep supporting Chief Draeger in her attempts to keep SLFD functioning!

  10. @Your turn out gear? says:

    You hit the nail on the head!! Ask them to buy their own and my guess is they will say the used equipment is fine!!!!!

  11. Bernard Punsley says:

    @”Your turn out gear”…..a clarification…our firefighters are just that : FIREFIGHTERS. It’s the “wanna be farkles” like YOU that are doing the moaning. Just curious…who are YOU gonna call in an emergency? And if our firefighters are truly “wanna-be” firefighters(your words, not mine)like you maintain, well then I guess DISSOLVING and retaining the services of Salem Fire/Rescue “real” firefighters and paramedics looks even more desirable!

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