History of Amery Fire Department

On September 26, 1891, a special meeting of the village board was held for the purpose of discussing ways and means of preventing and extinguishing fires in the village of Amery. Member present at that meeting were James P. Peterson, W.H. Robbins, Peter Nelson, John Berman and Thomas Proux. A resolution was passed to establish a fire department as provided by Section 892 of the revised statutes of Wisconsin. W.H. Robbins and John Burman and Thomas Proux were appointed as the committee of 3 to procure a suitable number of hooks, ladders and pails for use in case of a fire in the village.

Minutes of a later meeting show that a resolution was passed to sink 2 wells, 8 feet square and deep enough to furnish plenty of water. One of the wells was to be sunk opposite the W.D. Thompson livery stable on Keller Avenue and the other near Chris Nelson's place on Harriman Avenue. In the minutes of the meeting held on July 1, 1894, a petition signed by D.F. Fox and 20 others, was read asking the village board to purchase a suitable bell to be placed in the belfry of the Congregational Church to be used as a fire alarm. It was proposed that the village pay $50, the church $50 and the Fourth of July committee pay $25 towards the purchase of the bell. The bell was to be under the control of the village board.

At a later meeting, the village board authorized the village President, L.G. Olcott, to purchase 1 hose cart and Thomas Proux was appointed to look after this equipment and see that the hose was properly dried and ready for use at any time. At a meeting of the village board held, October 25, 1894, it was decided to build a building suitable to house council chambers, fire equipment and the village clerk's office. This building was built just west of the depot. The first village water tower with a wooden tank was built near the tracks, now the site of the Pennington building. The records of the fire department show that a meeting held on December 3, 1894, the following resolution was adopted: "that the organization of the Amery Fire Department as reported to the board to be satisfactory in all respects and in accordance with the statutes of Wisconsin and that the same be duly adopted and confirmed."

In the summer of 1895, a committee was appointed to procure 20 fireman's caps, 2 dozen suitable pails, one 40-foot ladder, 1 24-foot ladder and one 16-foot ladder. This equipment was to be stored with the hose cart in the fire hall to be ready at all times. The next equipment acquired was 600 feet of hose at $.50 per foot. No mention is made of any financial accounts but of note is the fact that a motion was made by the board to the effect that all firemen be exempt from paying poll tax.

At special meeting of the council held on May 21, 1926, arrangements were made for the purchase of a new fire truck equipped with a triple combination pump, chemical and hose cart. Price was $5,000 and coats and hats were added to the equipment later.

In 1951, the Amery Fire Department began to sponsor the fireworks held on the fourth of July. They raised over $500 to purchase the fireworks for the display, while today we receive about the same show for $3,000. As the cost grew, the firemen started soliciting all businesses for donations to help with the cost. Today, the Community Club, Lions and the City of Amery put on the show.
As the town grew, more water mains were installed and in 1953, a modern fire truck was purchased. in 1965, a 1,000 gallon per minute pumper was added. An Army Jeep and an Army 3/4 ton with a pump and tank were purchased in 1972 for fighting grass fires. Also a 2 1/2 ton Army truck was added to be used as a 2,000 gallon tanker. A van was purchased in 1980 for hauling equipment and men. A 1,000 gallon per minute pumper was added in 1981 and in 1984 a 2,000 gallon tanker was purchased.