On January 14th Glenhaven and the entire community suffered a tragic loss. A disastrous fire consumed the entire $9.65 million dollar newly constructed addition. Thanks Be To God that nobody was killed or injured.
As John McCutchin, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Glenhaven stated in last week’s Tribune Press Reporter, Glenhaven will rise from these ashes to be a better Glenhaven and a better community.
I too, want to commend David Prissel, Glenhaven’s Administrator, for his calm and cool demeanor as he interacted with the fire crews and with his staff during an extremely difficult time. The tone he set did indeed carry over to the entire Glenhaven staff as they made certain their residents were safe and well cared for.
I also want to commend Greg Holden, our Fire Chief, and his entire department. Greg took the lead in directing the efforts of approximately 170 firefighters from 38 area fire departments. It was absolutely incredible to witness 38 fire departments working together collectively as one unit to contain and suppress the fire. The entire operation was very well organized and efficiently carried out.
How very fortunate, that due to the firefighters’ extraordinary efforts, the fire didn’t spread to the existing facility which would’ve necessitated evacuating the residents. But, if it had been necessary, Glenhaven was prepared for evacuation. There were 10 ambulances from 6 area ambulance services along with 20+ EMT’s on site. Arrangements had already been made to transport the residents to other area nursing homes. Thanks so much to the EMT’s.
Thank you so much to the 37 area fire departments that answered the alarm. Also, to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, Highway Department, Dispatch and Mobile Command Center. What an extraordinary example of the greatness of Mutual Aid and MABAS. I must admit to having sometimes been somewhat skeptical of mutual aid, thinking that perhaps we had been getting the short end of the stick, providing far more assistance than we’d received. Well, this was certainly payback time and I no longer question its worth.
And Thank You to everyone else that helped out. There were so many! Just as they did to battle the fire, the community and the surrounding area will come together to help Glenhaven rise from the ashes.