Madison firefighters win ground monitor at state fire school

MADISON FIREFIGHTERS (left) Justin Olson, Chad Patch and Wade Bialas took first place during last week's water-fight competition during the 2021 State Fire School in Ft. Pierre. The local team was awarded a Blitzfire ground monitor, a piece of firefighting equipment, as a prize for winning the contest.

A team of Madison firefighters took first place in a water-fight competition held last weekend during the 2021 State Fire School event in Ft. Pierre.

Fire Chief Randy Minnaert said he and five Madison firefighters -- Wade Bialas, Kurt Christiansen, Dustin Jung, Justin Olson and Chad Patch -- attended the event sponsored by the South Dakota Firefighters Association.

On Thursday evening, Bialas, Olson and Patch competed in the conference's water-fight contests and won first-place honors.

The competition's grand prize was a Blitzfire ground monitor, a type of firehose nozzle that has a support system and is placed on a solid surface to spray water on a fire. A Blitzfire ground monitor, which has a retail value of about $5,500, offers the capability of applying large amounts of water to extinguish flames.

On Monday, Minnaert said Madison firefighters and other volunteers planned to continue sponsoring and setting up splash zones for young people due to the interest in the temporary water parks last week. The Madison Fire Department provides the use of an old pumper truck to supply water pressure for water slides, splash pads and games.

The splash zones scheduled during the third week in June are planned at Memorial Park on Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. and at Totland Park on Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m.