1946 to 2012
The agricultural character of the village had given the fire company plenty of experience in fighting grass and wildland fires. The Old Tamarack Swamp offered many challenges to the fire company throughout its history. In 1948 there were 31 calls, of which 20 were in the rural area. The Swamp and grassland fires accounted for 13.
With all the activity, the local citizens were responding to as many calls as the firemen and a demand was made for more police at the scenes. The emotions of the hour raised the issues of the firemen being paid for their services, an issue which pegged fireman against fireman. However, that was short lived with the activity of the calls and a new truck on the way.
In October of 1955 a model ordinance was read to the membership of the company recognizing the Menomonee Falls Fire Company No. 1 as a department of the Village of Menomonee Falls. On March 1, 1956 the ordinance was passed and went into effect. The ordinance did little to change the Company, as the principal purpose was to enable the arrangement of proper recompense and insurance for members.
Effective March 19, 1956 members of the Menomonee Falls Fire Department were placed on a pay schedule for attendance at fires, believed to be the first time members received pay for their services. Each member would receive $2 for the first hour and $1 for each additional hour at a fire call. Members who only made it to the station, would not be eligible for pay. Each member was paid $2 for attendance at assigned drills and absences at meetings or drills brought a $1 fine.
With the continued growth of the village and annexation of the town, the fire department was feeling the demands for services. In 1958 the Chief was expressing the fast approaching need for another fire station and full-time person.
It was in 1962 when the Fire Insurance Rating Bureau made a report based upon an inspection of October 1961. The rating of the village was dropped from a Class 6 to the "next poorer," Class 7. The recommendation was made that a full-time fire department be employed by the village, and the Department's two pumpers be replaced with larger, more modern equipment. It was also noted that 22.7% of the water hydrants inspected failed to yield a flow of water.
Full-Time Fire Chief
A special meeting of the Menomonee Falls Fire Department and village Board on January 10, 1967 discussed the future plans regarding the fire department. The issue of a full-time chief was discussed and it was mentioned money was in the budget for the position, so the go ahead was given. Applications were to be turned in by May 10, 1967. Every effort was to be made to hire from inside the Department and applications would be opened again in fall, after reevaluating the salary.
A full-time chief was eventually hired, but not until 1972 and from outside the Department. In 1975, a second station was constructed on Silver Spring Drive in front of Willowood Park. While still mostly agricultural, the population would rapidly expand and several business parks would soon occupy this end of town.
In 1976 two full-time firefighters were hired. Over the next 20 some years, there was the addition of a few more full-time firefighters, but the Menomonee Falls Fire Department could stay a combination department because of the dedication of their local citizens.
Fire Station Three
Five years after opening fire Station 2, a third station was constructed out of the former North Hills School located on Lilly Road just south of Appleton Avenue. The building and property, no longer needed by the school district, was sold to the fire department for just $1. At a cost of $500,000, the old school was renovated into a firehouse serving as a central point for all administrative operations.
Fire Station Four
On June 19, 1994, on the 100th anniversary of the Menomonee Falls Fire Department, our newest station was dedicated at the intersection of Highway 145 and Main Street. Station 4 was constructed on the site of the former Bailey School which had been acquired from the school system in 1977 for $1. Hanging in the bell tower above this station, is the fire bell from the first fire station in Menomonee Falls constructed in 1894. As the fourth fire station, this facility and its personnel are charged with the responsibility of protecting a primarily industrial area in the far northeast corner of the village.