History



           

History of Our Fire Department…

This important civic organization was granted permission by the State of Wisconsin to form a corporation, “to aid and assist in the extinguishment of fires” on December 21, 1909.  However, the first fire station had been built two years earlier and it stood along the alley between Reagles and Main Streets.  An old hand-pumper was the first firefighting equipment.  In 1918 a Model T Ford Fire Truck was purchased.  The equipment soon became inadequate and so, too the quarters.

In 1949 a modern brick Fire House was built on Pierce Street, with additions made in 1958 and 1964.  This also became inadequate and a new Fire Station and Community Center were built in 1976 on Commercial Street.  The brick Firehouse was used by the Village of Arlington until 2001 and is now the EMS Headquarters.

Over the years many pieces of firefighting apparatus have been purchased, the department currently has a front line engine and a secondary engine, two 2300 gallon tenders, a 4x4 brush truck and first response unit, a rescue squad, and an off road UTV with tracks utilizing two interchangeable skid units; one for wildland fires and patient recue during warmer weather and a winter time rescue unit.

The Fireman’s organization in the early 1930’s, purchased six acres of land on the north side of the Village for a community park.  It was drained, plowed and seeded by volunteer workers.  A few years later another tract of land was purchased and added to the park.  It was well planted with shade trees, two ball diamonds were laid out, and lighting was installed along with drain tile.  The Arlington Fire Department recently purchased another 10 acre parcel of land that is adjacent to the current Fireman-Owned Park for future expansion.  The Volunteer Firefighters have a weekly cleaning schedule for the park that involves making sure restrooms are clean, stocked, and garbage is removed for the next weekend. We also have elected Trustees that report back to the membership about the park and its shelters; this covers everything from maintenance, landscaping, and upkeep issues, to replacing burnt out lights.  The Firemen also ensure that the ball diamond, lights, and fencing are kept up. There is a large shelter and a small shelter, with electricity that are available to be rented out for private parties, family reunions, group picnics, wedding receptions and other events. The Firemen are proud to be able to provide this park and make it available for kids and families to use.

We are fortunate to have the outreach and support of the local Lions Club, Curling Club, Snowmobile Club and their members.  They assist with our events and fundraising for new equipment.  It is nice to have a working relationship and be in good standing with the community.  We are always looking at ways to meet the ever-growing need of the community and welcome new members at any time. 

 

 
William E. Bell joined the Arlington Fire Department on July 3, 1961 and became Fire Chief in 1970; he retired as Chief on December 31, 2015. As you can see from the Portage Daily Register article dated Fri. June 29, 1973; Bill (he is the center fireman / Fire Chief) wanted to keep the department up to date with the most current technology. According to this article the Arlington Fire Dept. was the first in the State of Wisconsin to have the "Power Rescue Tool" now often known as the "Jaws of Life".

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