ONAWA, Iowa (KCAU)– After several fires in Monona County, Onawa’s fire department is being showered with donations, with many in the community also saying thank you to those who volunteer their time.
Onawa’s volunteer fire department has been getting a constant stream of donations from local businesses and even individuals.
“We got sports drinks, and pallets of water, snacks to be put on the trucks for when we’re out on long calls. You know, we also got some monetary donations,” said Chief Adam Sutteon, with the Onawa Volunteer Fire Department.
“Anybody willing to give up their free time away from family and friends, and their kids sports, and whatnot I think they deserve more than a case of water. But you know if water goes a long way I’m happy to donate,” said Ben Martian, an Onawa community member.
Adam Sutteon, the chief of Onawa’s Volunteer Fire Department says the money given to the fire department will be used to refill and replace broken, lost, and out-of-stock materials used on last week’s fires.
“Class A foam is extraordinarily expensive, it’s about $90 a pail that’s a 5-gallon jug. It doesn’t take much to go through that on these trucks. On top of that we had some damaged to one of the light bars on our UTV and other equipment that has been lost and damaged while out there assisting with these forest fires,” said Sutteon.
During a typical house or grass fire, Ottawa’s fire department typically uses one pail of foam. However, last week’s fires were anything but ordinary.
“We used 5 pails, we used 25 gallons of foam throughout all the fires that we’ve had over the last two weeks. We have a supply usually here at the station of about 10 pails,” said Sutteon.
10 pails, according to Sutteon, can typically last Onawa’s fire department a year.
“We’ve been having structure fires so we were down to about 6 pails before we started the brush fires season here and now we’re down to one,” said Sutteon.
Sutteon stated that he is grateful for the community support and helped replenish their foam supply as well.
“It’s outstanding. The thought of having a community like this that will reach out and help us, and without having to ask is the best feeling. You know we get to see people at their worst times, and then to see our community come together and say hey we’re gonna help you out has been remarkable,” said Sutteon.
Local fire officials say an easy way to help volunteer fire departments is to pay attention to burn bans and red flag warnings, in order to prevent unwanted fires.