Silver Lake FD apparatus “out of service” says acting chief (VIDEO)

Supporters of the  motion to contract with Salem for fire protection stand while SLFD acting Chief addresses the Village Board. /Earlene Frederick photo

Supporters of the motion to contract with Salem for fire protection stand while SLFD acting Chief addresses the Village Board. /Earlene Frederick photo

Silver Lake Fire Department acting Chief Roger Pattie said he is considering the department’s apparatus “out of service” due to maintenance problems detected today.

Pattie made the statement during citizens comments at a Village Board meeting Wednesday night.

The key problem is tires on the equipment that are at least 10 years out of date, Pattie said

Elaborating later in the meeting, Pattie said the equipment will not be responding to any calls until the tires can be replaced.

“They are not safe to operate,” Pattie said.

At 7:33 p.m., the board is engaged in what looks like will be a lengthy discussion about contracting with Salem for short term fire protection service. We will report on that meeting when its done.” Trustee Pat Dunn made the motion to contract with Salem until the November fire/EMS referendum after pointing out that his conference with the League of Municipalities showed it was legal, as long as it was temporary. Village Attorney Linda Gray agreed it was legal as long as it was not being used to circumvent the citizen legislation petition that prompted the November referendum.

UPDATE 7:37 p.m. – After the board voted down a motion to enter into a temporary contract with Salem for fire protection until November in a 2-4 vote (Dunn and Trustee Mike Decker voting in favor), Pattie resigned. “With this board’s lack of concern for its citizens I resign as your fire chief.” Her eis video of the vote and Pattie’s resignation from Earlene Frederick:

UPDATE 7:50 p.m. – Board now debating future of fire department. Before this, the board accepted the May 13 resignation of the fire Chief Andy McFarlane and agreed to pay him about $1,300 he was owed after he returns all department equipment.

UPDATE 7:59 p.m. — Pattie clarified that he only resigned as chief and he will continue to serve as a “black hat” line firefighter. Village President Sue Gerber said the village will be actively seeking candidates for chief over the next 24 hours. “I don’t think the Silver Lake Fire Department wants to save itself,” Gerber said. “They want to sell it to Salem. I am trying to save the fire department, not sell it.”. For a chief, Gerber said “I think we need someone impartial.” Trustee roger Johnson said the Randall and Wheatland Fire departments stand ready to cover Silver Lake. Recent measurements showed Randall Station No. 2 in Bassett was closer to Silver Lake than Salem Fire/Rescue’s Wilmot or Trevor stations, Johnson said, in answer to criticism from the audience that Randall and Wheatland stations were far for adequate response.



  1. Stupid vote result says:

    Just stupid to leave us without a fire department. Join the cause to dissolve Silver Lake’s government. Silver Lake Rescue does not run this village, contrarily to what the Queen thinks…

  2. Almost laughable says:

    Well the Silver Lake board has made their creepy family bed now they can rest easy at night knowing that help is only 30 minutes away.

  3. Wahhhhhhhhj says:

    Always funny to watch a bunch if grown men and women act like a bunch of spoiled babies and walk out of a meeting. If you don’t want to be part if the solution, leave, we will find others who are here for the residents, not for themselves.

  4. @wahhhhhhhhj says:

    Those people that walked from the meeting were/are the ones attempting to make a solution. They are the ones that are looking out for the village and its residents, yet the board slapped them down once again! The majority of the board have a total disregard for not only the residents of this village, but also the people that are attempting to protect it. The majority of the board seem to think it’s acceptable that the SLFD should put themselves in possible jeopardy when even attempting to make it to a scene by not providing proper maintenance on the very vehicles that are used to save lives, not to mention any other equipment that’s currently needing replacement. Let me as you this, would you allow yourself or a family member drive a vehicle with 16 year old tires? I think not, so why should our members of the department?! Why would the fire chief (Roger Pattie) or any other person that steps into the position put themselves in legal jeopardy (as they and the village are both held accountable) when the board won’t accept responsibility of their lack of action regarding the safety of our fire department? I strongly commend Mr Pattie for putting the safety of the fire department members as well as the safety of our residents before any personal agenda the board has set. What is the boards answer to our safety; to rely on other departments that are having the same staffing issues Silver Lake has…that is not a solution, that is delaying the hard truth facing this village. Shame on those members of the board that refuse to provide adequate safety to this village and our fire department!!

  5. Deborah Goshinsky says:

    What is going on with Silver Lake. I was on Silver Lake rescue for many years. I joined for my daughter, and loved it and jumped in with my whole body. Sure there were times we were short staffed but we made it work. I was head of the board the click stuff was crap I fought hard to get rid of it but then myself and the group were accused of forming another click. Why cant people just play nice together and get alone for the oath we took to help people. If my Dr. wouldn’t of told me that I couldn’t ride in the back of the rig Because of my back surgery I would still be there. But I couldn’t stay unless I did my call nights. I understand that but don’t we all have to work together to make it work. Why couldn’t the board just get new tires? Let play nice people.

  6. Bernard Punsley says:

    Well folks..think about it…..the fire station burned down in 1998. Basically, everything was replaced, but most of the equipment is now 14 years old. I don’t care how “pristine” the Queen thinks the fire trucks are, she doesn’t have a clue. Neither does Roger Johnson, who works for a car/truck dealer. The tires on the trucks are 14 years old. Each tire costs @$800 to replace. Remember earlier this year when the breathing apparatus tanks were obsolete, and SLFD had to “borrow” used equipment from Gateway? Think our squad cars have 14 year old tires on them? Our snow plows? SLRS ambulances? There has been no master plan or capital improvement plan to deal with the future of our fire department. The last village president that tried was run off the board, and the next 2 fire chiefs were pretty much “shown the door” as well. Not to worry….the Queen insists our fire department is not in dire staits. Randall and Wheatland are providing for our safety. Let’s say she is 100% correct. Then WHY WOULD WE NEED TO KEEP SILVER LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT? Get rid of them, sell the “pristine fire trucks”, mouldy tires and all, turn the fire station into our new library, have Randall and Wheatland continue to provide our fire protection, along with the rest of the MABAS departments, and we should be good to go. We keep our rescue squad service, backed up by Salem paramedics when needed, and SLFD and all of it’s inherent problems conveniently disappear. What part of this hypothesis doesn’t work?

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Deborah: “why couldn’t the board just get new tires’……this is the same board that made the firefighters take down their waterfight and muster trophies that they had proudly displayed in the fire station, because the shelving units were “illegal”. In case you haven’t been paying attention, there has been a concerted effort to “muddle” in SLFD operations, and that effort got “amped up” with the newest board members jumping on the “let’s micro manage our fire department” train. Both Chief McFarlane and Chief Pattie would not compromise the safety of their firefighters and had enough integrity to stand up to the board and say NO!

  8. Question? says:

    How many villages (not cities not large encompassing townships but VILLAGES) in Wisconsin have a fully staffed and paid fire dept? Could someone shed some light on that for me please.

  9. Concerned citizen says:

    I can’t believe this village. I’m actually ashamed to be living here. This board does not no how to budget and spend dollars correctly.
    The taxes are too high.
    The roads and sidewalks need of lots of repair.
    The downtown area on Lake Street looks like it is from the 1960s!
    Yet the board approved to build a Gazeebo at Schmalfeldt park for around $70K.
    They spend too much on Police services. A little birdie told me there are currently 13 police officers assigned to Silver Lake! That is a lot to be paying for!
    Why does a town of roughly 2000 residents need 13 assigned police officers. Wake up residents of Silver Lake, look around your village and ask, “Where are my tax dollars being spent?” Is this good for the community?

    I think its time to impeach this village board and totally dissolve its government.

  10. Have you driven through Silver Lake? says:

    @ Concerned Citizien – why, they need all the police officers to watch for speeders! Anyone who’s driven through Silver Lake knows that. And put a couple on the water during the summer (which I do think is worth it given some of the clowns I’ve seen on the lake).

    As an outsider living near but not in Silver Lake, the lack of leadership and accountability to the citizens safety by the village board is simply amazing. Reading what is going on, it doesn’t appear that anyone on the board is trying to resolve the issue, and can’t see what is important to the residents.

    I applaud all the volunteers for their efforts. They are obviously doing a thankless job in Silver Lake, and are doing their best with what equipment they have – both at SLRS and SLFD. Neither group is getting the support the right from the board – even though the 2 chiefs had publicly said they were going to do their best to work better together – the smart thing to do.

    Someone posted that they should have an outsider evaluate the entire situation. I’d recommend someone from outside the current MABAS group – who has experience with this size of a community and its needs.

    Good luck to whomever gets that role. They’ll have a big challenge ahead with the personalities in that little village.

  11. The board needs to go says:

    It has officially come time to storm the village hall and have EVERY board member removed from “service”. They are clearly ” anti”- Silver Lake! Silver lake will continue to be a dump as long as the current administration has any power!

  12. Concerned says:

    Silver Lake has in the budget over $500K for the police. Why is the FD not funded well? This problem goes back a long ways over several village presidents and boards.
    Why not cut back on the Police and use that money to properly fund the FD.
    Take $100K out of Police budget and put to FD.
    Not just a one time thing, keep the $100K going to the FD every year.
    Do we really need a police dept. as big as it is?
    I wonder what it would cost to have the Sherriff dept. cover us like Paddock Lake does. I bet it would not be over $500K.

    Back in late 2012 the board was pushing for SLRS to combine with SLFD. If that had happened we probably would have a our rescue service in trouble too. That part is and has been working well but several board members are trying to destroy that.

    Efforts in the past few years have concentrated on gettnig rid of SL Rescue Squad. Efforts should have been on fixing and properly funding our fire dept.

    Why are the tires all of a sudden a big surprise? Just like the air packs a year ago. These equipment aging issues should be planned and budgeted for. They should not be surprises.

    Shrink the PD, buy tires!

  13. Maximize Resources says:

    Why not put the Police Chief in charge of the Fire Department. He’s a 40 hour employee. Create a “Deputy Fire Chief” position, part time to provide the technical expertise the Police Chief might be lacking. Minimal cost. Create some “Public Safety Officers”….a few of our police officers are already trained firefighters……why couldn’t they respond to fire or EMS calls at least during the day to assist our fire and rescue departments? Once again, minimal costs. I’m not saying ALL the police officers would need to be PSO’s, only a few. Why coudn’t we train a few to drive and operate our fire trucks? Know what most cops do at most fire scenes? Block the road and direct traffic. An important duty,no doubt. If our local officer(s) was not available to perform the function because he responded to the call driving the fire truck, call in the KCSD to direct traffic. I realize there may be some additional training requirements, but we certainly could maximize the use of our resouces. And yes, I do realize that squad car would not be available to catch speeders while tied up at the fire scene!

  14. to Maximize Resources says:

    You are right. All those suggestions have been given to the village board. They said no way. We need to get rid of them.

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