Back in the days of the hand pumper, after several disastrous fires in the area the citizens of Waubeka and the surrounding community bought their first fire apparatus. They organized the Waubeka Fire Department in the fall of 1899. The Department was incorporated on February 4th, 1901.
This first fire apparatus was a hand drawn/operated pumper and was complimented by a ladder company. It was housed in the Cigrand Blacksmith shop at the intersection of Cigrand and Center St. The fire alarm was a hammer striking an old circular saw that hung in the corner. Although it was difficult to keep the new fire organization afloat financially, the department did progress and in 1904 a fire house was built, complete with a bell installed in its tower. That building still stands today on Center St.
In 1912 a horse drawn pumper was purchased for $1,367.00. The pump was driven by a four-cylinder gasoline engine. That piece of equipment remains on display at the Ozaukee Historical Society's "Pioneer Village" having been restored to its original condition.
That horse drawn pumper was replaced in 1926 by a $6,000 motorized pumper from Stoughton Wagon Co. It was then replaced by a Chevrolet pumper in 1950, which was outfitted by West Bend Fire Apparatus Co. for a total of $5,000. Two small tankers would then be added for the supply of water.
Our older fire equipment:
- 1963 a new fire house was built for $18,000 and was designed by Victor Voeks. It was built to hold four trucks and a small meeting room.
- 1964: A Ford 750 GPM (gallons per minute) pumper was purchased from the Boardman Co.
- 1974: a Dodge mini-pumper built by Pierce Mfg. Co.
- 1976: a Ford 2800 gallon tanker and a Pierce 1000 GPM pumper in 1978.
- 1984 the department dedicated its present fire station, expanding its apparatus capacity to six units, office, training and meeting areas.
The present fire equipment includes:
- a 1985 Autocar 3000 gallon tanker
- a 1989 Pierce Lance 1500 GPM pumper/tanker
- a 1994 multi-purpose Ford Attack Pumper
- a 1994 Pierce Dash 1750 GPM Pumper
- a Ford F-350 multi-use personnel van
- 2006 Advanced Life Support Ambulance
The Waubeka Volunteer Fire Department consist of 42 active members plus associate members who act in support of the department. The present fire chief is Jason Caswell. Previous fire chiefs and the years they served:
- H. E. Cooley(1899-1900, 1905-1909)
- Fred Grotelueschen(1901-1903, 1910-1927)
- Peter Schulties(1904)
- E.J. Klessig(1928-1940)
- Joe Bauman(1941-1944)
- Milton Warner(1944-1945)
- Aloys Wach(1945-1947)
- Norman Bernt(1948)
- John J. Hames(1949-1968)
- Ralph Maechtle(1969-1981)
- Tom Bublitz(1982-1989)
- Dennis C. Hames(1990-1994)
- Robert Behrens(1995-2002)
- Peter Wagner (2003-2011)
- Keith Johnson (2012)
- Jason Caswell (2013-Present)
The department also has an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) squad which provides emergency medical service to persons within our service area. Our Advanced Life Support Ambulance is well equipped with extrication and rescue equipment. Members of our EMS crew are trained as Intermediate Technicians which means they can administer IV's and certain drugs if needed. When ever we respond our primary concern is the best care of the patient.
The major portion of the financial support for the department is received from a contract with the Town of Fredonia. The members continue to supplement the income by helping with fund raising activities.
The department makes every effort to stay abreast of the latest equipment and technology available. The continuous training and schooling of our members are perfect examples of the dedication to the safety of the community. The department has also achieved the best ISO rating (5) possible in Wisconsin for a department with 100% mobile water supply. The Waubeka Fire Department Inc. is a private, non-stock corporation made up totally of unpaid volunteers. While it receives revenue from the Town of Fredonia by virtue of its contract, it remains operationally independent of municipal control.