Mutual Aid helped search, recovery efforts - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Mutual Aid helped search, recovery efforts

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DRESBACH, MN (WXOW)—Emergencies like Wednesday's boating accident require a lot of extra help; that's where mutual aid comes in.

Crews from La Crosse, La Crescent, Onalaska and Winona are just a few of the agencies that assisted in the search and recovery effort on Wednesday.

Mutual aid was especially important because the accident involved three counties and two states.

"When we have complex situations we use it to try to integrate better across boundaries," Nate Melby, Chief, Town of Campbell Fire Department said.

After the first hour of an accident, the scope expands and other agencies are brought in to help.

"In a water search scenario," Melby said. "More boats on the water mean, hopefully, a faster outcome and faster search."

It also means they can rotate which crews are out on the water.

"We're doing work that is taxing on our people," Melby said.  "If we can bring in fresh additional resources to the scene that helps so we don't tax our people."

When it was their turn to be back on land, Wednesday, the American Red Cross was at the boat landing to help them.

"We're here to keep these guys hydrated," Dianne Thompson, Emergency Services Coordinator, Winona, Wabasha, Goodhue County Red Cross said. "They're so worried about what they're doing they forget to eat and keep themselves going too."

The Red Cross stocked the scene at all times with fruit, lemonade and water.

"They come with water, snacks but they have no idea if they're going to be here half an hour or five days," Thompson said.

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