THE LITTLE FIREBOAT THAT COULD
At high noon on Sunday, a fire broke out at a carriage house mounted high on the hill above the enclave just west of Lake Geneva called Covenant Harbor. The fire was in a very difficult place, originating back in the upstairs kitchen inside a forty-foot structure. The carriage house itself stands on ground at least three hundred yards from the lake edge and then up another hundred feet, or so. The fire trucks that streamed in from as far as Burlington and Racine joined all the local fire departments situated around Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva’s fire chief, Brent Connelly, was in command, and quite a commander he is. He called in the little fireboat that could because he had no water up at that elevation and a normal pumper truck was not going to be able to handle the volume of water required to put the fire out. He called on the fireboat. The fireboat (skippered by Dan, firefighter and sailor from Linn) is equipped to connect hoses to its own system and then pump lake water up to the pumper truck whereby the pumper truck becomes a fire fighting force with no end of water supply in sight or even mind. The fire was put out in short order. Nobody was hurt.
Everyone, firefighters and bystanders alike, stood around the scene and watched as water expanded the
long hoses and supplied the fire fighting forces with the vital fire quenching water. It was Sunday at high noon and guess who else appeared? The Police Chief of Lake Geneva himself, Mike Rasmussen. To assist where he was needed. He was still there, along with Lake Geneva’s fire chief, long after the fire was out. Neither man, neither Mike nor Brent Connelly, would make the Packer’s game and the Packers were three and zero, facing the Forty-Niners in Denver. Those two men would remain for the afternoon, doing the kind of work nobody else really wants to do and doing it magnificently. The Packers did win on Sunday afternoon just as Lake Geneva surely did. The fireboat continues to prove, day after day, event after event, that its existence was the result of one of the most excellent decision made by the volunteer firefighters of Town of Linn, joined by that community’s enlightened leadership and some thoughtfully generous private citizens.
The entire community of Lake Geneva also owes of debt of gratitude to all those cities and towns that so rapidly responded to Lake Geneva’s moment of need; Town of Linn, Sharon, Randall, Burlington, East Troy, Hebron, Racine and Twin Lakes were all there. Forty-five minutes after the call came in, more than seven departments were on the scene ready and willing to put their backs into it and risk their lives performing the potentially deadly and dangerous work.