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Arbor Vitae couple donates airboat to Minocqua Fire Department
MINOCQUA - A generous donation gave one Northwoods fire department a new life-saving tool. The Minocqua Fire Department now has its own airboat.

The department had been considering getting one for a few years. Before they would use a man-powered sled, which had to be walked out to people trapped on ice. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Hazelett said an airboat makes rescue attempts easier.

"It's a quicker response time, less fatigue on us, faster getting the patient getting back to shore, it's heated for one thing so we can get those people into a somewhat warm environment," said Hazelett. 

A couple in Arbor Vitae was selling their airboat, but when they found out a fire department wanted it they gave it to the firefighters for free.

"That was an absolute complete surprise," said Hazelett. "That was a huge generous gift to us but also the community." 

Hazelett said buying an airboat would've cost about $90,000. The department plans to use the airboat for ice rescues, but it can be used year round.

Story By: Dakota Sherek

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