Members of at least three city of Hartford departments
played important supporting roles at the recently
completed U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills.
City Administrator Steve Volkert said the city’s Fire
and Rescue and Wastewater Treatment departments had
extensive involvement in behind the scene services at
the championship event. He said he received “a few phone
calls regarding the fallout of the U.S. Open.”
“Different departments had varying roles in this event.
Fire and Rescue did a phenomenal job both on the grounds
and back here at home,” Volkert said. “They had over
(during the tournament) 1,500 patient contacts through
the week between the three first-aid tents, our bicycle
teams and our cart teams.”
Fire and Rescue Chief Paul Stephans said members of his
department at the U.S. Open were “extremely busy.”
“The severe heat and humidity we had over a few days
really took its toll on some of the spectators who were
attending the event,” Stephans said. “That created a lot
of work for EMS and first aid that were staffing the
Volkert said the worst day of the extreme heat was
Friday, with 302 contacts.
“Saturday was second at 260, and Sunday they had better
weather and more than 170 contacts,” Volkert said. “With
all of the extra issues that took place both out there
(blimp, death, E. coli) and back here, our Fire and
Rescue did a phenomenal job.”
Stephans said members of his department had to work at
the U.S. Open site during the same difficult conditions
that public suffered through.
“They took all the necessary precautions,” Stephans
said. “We made sure that everybody stayed hydrated and
made sure we rotated our shifts so that nobody
overworked. It was physically difficult, but we were
well prepared and everyone took care of themselves so
they could take care of others.”
Stephans said the plans that he and others had put
together for the event went as they had prepared for.
a person who has spent close to two years planning for
the event and then to have the plan really be tested
both on-site and off-site emergencies, it’s very
gratifying to see your staff perform at such a high
level and make the plan come through,” Stephans said.
Volkert said the Police Department was at a beefed up
state during the tournament week, but saw no impact from
the golf tournament.
Chief (David) Groves reported that no calls could be
attributed to the tournament. Despite having staff at
the tournament, 911 calls in the city were handled
without a hitch.
“During the planning process we never lost sight of our
number one priority and that’s to provide 911 coverage
for the communities that we serve. That’s where we
started,” Stephans said. “It should be emphasized that
we, the Hartford Fire Department, worked with our
neighboring departments to make sure we didn’t lose any
coverage on our 911 service. We had West Bend Fire
Department, their paramedics, their ambulance, we used
Life Star Ambulance and we used Ashippun Fire Department
to staff the event so we didn’t spread ourself too thin
here in the city.”
Stephans said “even though everyone of us felt fatigued
and tired by the end of the week, we understood that we
were the envy of a lot of fire departments in this
country with the call volume and the severity of calls
and our people were very, very proud of their
performance. That’s great for morale in a department
city’s Wastewater Utility Department was praised for how
they handled the around-the-clock service to the liquid
waste haulers for the tournament.
“Much of our limited staff took swing shifts to make our
facility open to serve when needed from 9 p.m.-6 a.m.,”
city’s Parks and Public Works departments, Volkert said,
also pushed up efforts to make the city look great for
any influx in visitors there might have been.
“Thanks to them for helping us put our best food forward
and giving visitors a great first impression,” Volkert
Volkert said in 2016, a year prior to the US Open, the
USGA clearly stated that economic impact on the city of
Hartford would be minimal as their system was to get
visitors from federal highways to the facility and back.
“The work that our staff did was not in expectation of
visitors that were never guaranteed, but merely to help
in the event that we got some spill over,” Volkert said.
“While several people have unjustifiably grumbled that
more tourism dollars weren’t spent in local
establishments that week, it should be pointed out that
having this event will have residual effects on our
community for many years to come.”
Volkert said “no one is to blame for us not getting
something that no one ever said that we would.”