Firefighters' Notebook: Hales Corners Heroes


The story of how a Wisconsin fire department went above the call of duty to answer a local boy’s question and made a memorable impact on the neighborhood residents.

Firefighters Make a Surprise House Call

When nine-year-old Zachary had a question about fire hydrants, he decided to write a letter to his local fire department. He wondered why some of the red fire hydrants in the community were being painted with a green top.

It was quite a surprise when the Hales Corners Fire Department came to his house to answer his question in person, rig, crew and all.

“If someone is going to take the time to send a handwritten letter these days, you can be sure we’ll find a memorable way to answer it,” stated Peter Jaskulski, the Fire Chief at Hales Corners Fire Department. “It’s always great to see the community engage with the department and we’ll do what we can to answer questions and bring a smile wherever we go.”

FFS-hales-corners6Zachary and his three siblings were in awe of the fire truck and spent time talking with the crew, touring the fire apparatus and learning about fire hydrants. They even had the opportunity to use the fire department’s hydrant wrench and see exactly how a hydrant is used in emergency response.

And it wasn’t just kids taking in the scene. Neighbors and friends waved hello as the fire truck pulled away and Zachary was thrilled to have an answer to his question.

“The firefighters explained that the fire hydrants attached to larger water mains are painted with a green top,” said Zachary. “That way, when they pull up to a hydrant, they know it has a lot of water available to help.” 

The simple act of answering a letter in the mail turned into a once-in-a-lifetime memory thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Hales Corners Fire Department.