Flickr / Andrew Higgins

A new law signed Wednesday allows Iowa to finance a statewide communication system of high tech radios for first responders.

Commissioner Roxann Ryan of the Iowa Department of Public Safety says Iowa is currently one of only a handful of states without an interoperable communication system. First responders elsewhere in the country have found the high tech radios especially helpful during natural disasters, when cell phones towers are damaged or networks are overloaded.

courtesy of Nathan Weiner

Nathan Weiner grew up in Iowa City, miles away from any naturally occurring wildfires. But after using controlled burns to restore Iowa landscape, he made his way out West.

"Whether it was burning a prairie or burning a woodland, we used prescribed fire to help that get back to its natural state, and once we started doing that, I just got bit by the fire bug, as they call it."

Hydrant Help

Jan 12, 2015

Firefighters across the state are asking residents to help clear snow away from water hydrants so they can be ready to be used if needed. Cedar Falls Battalion Chief John Bostwick says being able to access the hydrant could cut down on the damage to the structure and may even save lives.

There are more than 18,000 volunteer firefighters in the state of Iowa. Men and women who would risk their lives to save yours. On today’s Talk of Iowa, we speak with several volunteers from across the state, including service members from Pella, Evansdale, and Coralville. But first, we talk with members of the Butler family, who are featured in the documentary “Iowa’s Firefighting Family”. The documentary premieres on Iowa Public Television tonight at 7 p.m.