One dead, two injured in Mountain Iron fire

MOUNTAIN IRON — Mountain Iron first responders could have benefited from updated extrication equipment when responding to an accident last winter.

The Mountain Iron Fire Department will soon have more powerful tools that can save time during emergencies.

The Mountain Iron City Council Monday night approved the purchase of three pieces of extrication equipment, including a cutter and spreader, costing a total of $19,503, from Grand Forks Equipment of Grand Forks, N.D.

The pieces are demo models that would cost a total of $26,000 to $27,000 brand-new, said Assistant Fire Chief Mark Madden.

The equipment is updated, serviced and warrantied and meets the extrication needs of modern vehicles, he said. Funds will come out of the department’s current year’s budget.

The Mountain Iron Fire Department has been using extrication tools donated from the Virginia Fire Department that are becoming outdated, Madden said. That current equipment is hydraulic and requires hooking up to a hydraulic hose, which is difficult especially during the winter, he added.

The updated equipment is battery-operated. “You just grab it off the truck and press a button.”

Had the department had the newer models, many minutes would have been saved during a particular accident last winter, Madden said.

Additionally, changing technology in the automobile industry requires more powerful equipment to make crucial cuts needed in rescue situations, according to the assistant chief.

The department has already trained on the demo models and can acquire further training, Madden said.

Grand Forks Equipment was the lowest of two bids obtained by the fire department.

The council Monday also approved a $5,600 proposal from Asbestos Control & Consulting Team, of Cloquet, to clean and disinfect about 80 books at the Mountain Iron Public Library damaged by mold following water damage at the library.

ACCT’s proposal includes cleaning and disinfecting a room at the library of mold.

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