KENOSHA FIRE DEPARTMENT HISTORY
Volunteer companies existed before the incorporation of the
city of Kenosha under the state of Wisconsin. March 8,
1851 an act to incorporate the Fire Department of the City of
Kenosha passed the state Senate and Assembly and was signed by
Governor Nelson Dewey. The Kenosha Volunteer Fire Company
was organized and equipment was purchased: two hand pumpers,
the “Park City” and “Star”, and one hook
and ladder truck.
December 30, 1903, a resolution was drafted to dispense with
the volunteer department and to institute a system of 12 call
men to be appointed by the Chief, subject to call at any time
and to be paid a regularly stated salary.
January 1, 1922 the two platoon system was instituted. The
firefighters were divided into two groups of 21 men each, for
a total of 45 employees. Formerly there were 31 men on
the department. Each man worked three days and then had
one day off. They could however leave for dinner, so the
number of men available was small at times.
On February 26, 1935 the first safety squad car was commissioned. It
was to be used exclusively for rescue work. The rig was
a remodeled Lincoln Phaeton squad car.
All firefighters were now trained in first aid and given instruction
to handle all emergencies.
In the fall of 1962, the Fire Department assumed the job of
operating the city ambulance service formerly ran by the Police
Department. March 11, 1967 25 members passed the first
Emergency Medical Training. This would be the beginning
of the advanced training and enhanced Emergency Medical Services.
August 13, 1988 the Fire Safety House was donated to the city. The
unit allowed for simulation of "smokey" conditions
to teach evacuation techniques. The instructional tool
was the first of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. It would
later become the focus of the fire prevention programs.
Currently, the Kenosha Fire Department is a fulltime, Professional
Fire Department. There are 156 employees, 7 stations and
32 pieces of apparatus within the department. The fire
department protects the lives and property of 94,450 citizens
within 25.43 square miles.