Golf outing raises funds for rehab vehicle

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Photo provided The Alliant Energy Foundation donated $2,500 to the Rock County Fire Chief's Association to support the Town of Beloit's rehabilitation vehicle. (From left): Town of Beloit firefighter Roderick Brunton, senior manager of customer operations Bridget Aldridge, and Town of Beloit fire chief Gene Wright pose with the check in front of the rehab vehicle.

JANESVILLE - The Rock County Fire Chiefs Association is hosting an "Everyone Goes Home" golf outing to support the Town of Beloit's rehabilitation vehicle.

The Town of Beloit Fire Department will deliver the rehab vehicle to police, fire and other emergency incidents in Rock County at other surrounding counties, set it up and stay on the scene to assist in any capacity. There is no cost to the municipality other than the affected agency is asked to assist with replenishing supplies consumed during the emergency incident.

Gene Wright, president of the Rock County Fire Chiefs Association, said the rehabilitation vehicle makes sure the first responders get a break and can be medically assessed. The vehicle has running water, a shower and a private area for the responders to be assessed.

"One of the biggest killers of firefighters is overexertion," Wright said. "About 58 percent of line of duty deaths are overexertion and heart attacks."

The "Everyone Goes Home" golf outing will be on May 25 at the Janesville Country Club, 2615 W. Memorial Drive. Registration is at 11:30 a.m., with tee off at 1 p.m. Lunch will be at 11:45 a.m. with dinner following the day of golf. The dress code is casual attire.

The rehab program was started in the Town of Beloit eight to 10 years ago, according to Wright, who also serves as the town's fire chief. The first rehab vehicle was a Snap On tool truck. The newest rehab vehicle is a former UW mobile clinic that has housed as many as 30 people, Wright said.

The rehab unit has responded 26 times since it was acquired last year, which have included fire incidents, large motor vehicle accidents, missing person searches and SWAT calls. It also participated in public events such as National Night Out, Freedom Fest and numerous organizations' open house events.

The "Everyone Goes Home" project has already identified several incidences where responders were held back from returning to an incident due to fatigue and medical conditions, according to a press release.

The Town of Beloit Fire Association purchased the vehicle, and with the needed equipment the cost of the project is $75,000. The funds raised at the "Everyone Goes Home" event will offset the loan the association took out to pay for the rehab vehicle.

As part of the fundraising, Rohlik Financial Group has donated $12,000 and the Alliant Energy Foundation has donated $2,500.

"Alliant Energy and the Rock County first responders have always worked closely together, and safety is one of our top values," said Bridget Aldridge, senior Manager of customer operations at Alliant Energy.

She said the pair will work together in the case of power outages, for example.

As of Wednesday, Wright said there are still limited openings for those wanting to golf, sponsor the event or donate door prizes with a deadline of Tuesday, May 23. The fee is $500 for a foursome, which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart and lunch and dinner as well as door prizes and raffles. Company sponsorship opportunities range from $200 to $10,000. Checks can be made payable to Rock County Fire Officers at 13023 W. Woodworth Dr., Evansville.

The Rock County Fire Chiefs Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of all the Rock County Fire and EMS agencies, with representatives Green, Walworth and Winnebago counties.

For more information, contact Wright at 608-371-3012 or email Tob223@yahoo.com.

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