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Fire! Fire! Fire! This was the call to everyone available to draw and carry all the water one could obtain to fight the mighty strength of fire. Then a caring group banded together to form The Fort Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department.
December 18,1913 was the organizational meeting attended by the following men: William Bolln Jr., C.W. Clark, Louis Clausen, J.M. Curtis, Kenneth Curtis, Fred H. Frahm, William Frahm, Walter Goll, Pat Iverson, Otto Kruse, J.A. Landis, Walter Larsen, W.W. McMillan, William Nickels, Ernest Rix, Howard Rix, Henry Schmidt, William Schmidt, William Sievers and W.H. Skow.
A cart was made to carry water buckets and ladders. Another four wheeled ladder cart was constructed in 1914. In the early 1930's hose carts were obtained.
April 1935 a siren to be sounded for fire calls was dedicated, replacing the bell that had been in use since 1914.
The first motorized fire truck was purchased in 1946. The Chevrolet, at a cost of $3,611.00, was bought with donations from both rural and city. Another truck, a tanker, was added to the department in 1958, purchased by the rural district.
In the late summer and early fall of 1954 petitions were circulated to form a rural fire protection district. Upon formation of this district February 14, 1955 Edward Lorenzen served as its President for 24 years.
The old wooden City Hall and Fire Station was razed and on the site a new building was erected in 1964.
In the late 60's a weed truck was built by the men of the department.
The Rural Fire Protection District purchased in 1966 the department's first class A pumper.
Fort Calhoun joined Tri Mutual Aid in 1967. This organization was formed to help one another with more equipment and man power fighting fires or disasters.
The need for more water in rural areas was met by obtaining an army surplus truck through the State Forestry and turned into a tanker built by the men to carry 1550 gallons of water.
A fund drive was held in 1969 to raise money to purchase a truck for a rescue squad. A van was bought and the men built a squad capable of carrying five victims. This unit was put into service in September 1970 with great pride.
Plectrons were added to the department in 1973. This is an alarm system using a central dispatcher via phone to receive alarms and in turn via radio receivers in the volunteer's homes they dispatch the calls to the proper departments.
A new siren was put into operation November 1980. It will not only be used for fire and rescue alarms but also as a storm warning.
With the additional new equipment the station built in 1964 became too small. So as to put all of the equipment under one roof a new station was built at 14th and Stevenson Streets.
With great pride and joy the department dedicated its new station on November 30, 1980. This building was purchased by the Fort Calhoun Rural Fire Protection District.

Fire History By Jean Mallory.

Washington County History Book 1980

Below is a photo of the first motorized fire truck purchased by the department.

We still have it, and use it for displays and parades.

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