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Hobart fire department, staff steps up after storm

By Kat Halfman
Staff Intern

HOBART – The Village Board took pause at its Tuesday, June 21 meeting to acknowledge the events of last week’s devastating storm and the efforts of the entire village in its wake.

Coincidentally, on the day of the storm that knocked out power for 43% of the village, the police chief, fire chief and director of public works were all gone.

But the Village Board said they were able to render aid quickly, thanks in no small part to their firefighters.

Village Administrator Aaron Kramer complimented the firefighters and police officers who stayed out past midnight to respond to more than 30 911 calls.

Kramer said the board will likely see the impact from the storm damage in the budget in the coming weeks.

“The No. 1 priority is to make sure that anyone with a medical emergency could get care, and the fire department had that covered by midnight on Wednesday night… all we ask now is time for the brush and tree damage cleanup,” Village Board President Rich Heidel said.

Trustee Vanya Koepke commended Clerk Treasurer Erica Berger and the rest of the village staff on the extra hours and effort they put in to take care of the community after the storm.

He also double checked that the new fire station planned for the village will be built with a generator, which staff confirmed it will, something he noted would be a good, proactive option to have.

There is currently only one tornado siren in Hobart at Fire Station No. 1, so Kramer said after cleanup is complete, it will be essential to look at the budget to install a second siren that will reach all of the village’s residential areas.

Kramer said the roof on the Four Seasons Park pavilion may have to be replaced, but it is covered under insurance.

He said overall, the village got through the storm with minimal damage.

May police calls
The May 2022 Hobart-Lawrence Police Department report was shared with the board, which noted the highest volume of calls for service come between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.

The report showed that of the 747 total calls for service – the largest percentage of calls, at 22.76%, was for traffic stops, with crime prevention coming in second at 14.86%.

There were only five 911 hangup calls, accounting for 0.67% of all calls for the month.

The most common traffic violations were speeding, operating without a license or while suspended, insurance violations and operating without vehicle registration.

The most common municipal violations were possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of THC and resisting/obstructing an officer.

The report also noted two arrests for operating while under the influence and a total of 22 crashes throughout the month.

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