The Reedsville First Responders are a group of volunteers that respond to a 911 call. They respond before the ambulance service arrives, to provide basic life support and first aid. The unit began when four personnel, namely: Bob Beyer, Dean Bubolz, Ellen Dietrich and Steve Webster, went to the Village Board to ask if there was a need for them in our area. With approval from the Village, these four people went through 42 hours of training through the program at Lakeshore Technical College and thus became the First Certified Responders in July of 1991. In August of that same year, approval was given for the First Responders to sponsor a class of their own to instruct future personnel. Classes started in September 1991 and the following November, eight more members joined the unit.
As a branch of the Reedsville Fire Department, with their own officers, the First Responders went into service in April 1992. They responded to calls with their own personal vehicles. In July 1993, a 1979 Ford ambulance was purchased for $1.00 from the City of Brillion, to be used as a rescue unit for the First Responders. The vehicle needed some body work and Bob’s Classic Auto of Reedsville donated all needed repairs. The rescue unit allowed the unit to better organize their equipment, which is housed at the fire station. The vehicle was put into service in March of 1994. In April of 2016 a 2016 Ford ambulance was purchased to replace the 1994 ambulance. This unit was painted with yellow stripes to match the fire department units. The painting was again donated by Bob’s Classic Auto.
The First Responders are funded by and serve the areas of the Village of Reedsville, and Towns of Maple Grove, Rockland, Cato, and Franklin. They are dispatched through the 911 system and work closely with Valders Ambulance Services. There is no charge for their calls since they are made up entirely of volunteers. They do not transport unless it is a mass casualty or disaster event. Transport to hospital is proceeded by Valders Ambulance, which is a paramedic service. On an average they respond to 140 – 150 calls per year.
Being a non-profit organization, they have sponsored raffles and dances with proceeds being used for equipment and refurbishing the rescue unit. A Halloween dance was first held in 1993 at the Firemen’s Park and continues to be an annual event. The First Responders are very active in the community and can be found standing in local wrestling tournaments, speaking to groups such as the Girl Scout and Lions Club. They also make visits to the schools in the district during Fire Prevention Week.
The initial 72 hours of training are mandatory in becoming a First Responder, and then every other year they must take a refresher course consisting of 21 hours. It costs an average of $1,400.00 to supply a First Responder with all needed equipment and for the shots they must have.
At the present time, the unit has 10 active members.