The first unit purchased was a 1924 model “T” Ford, stored at Simon Albinger’s garage until a fire station was built. The building that was eventually put up was a twenty-eight by twenty-one-foot wood frame building on the northwest corner of Highways XX and H. It cost $680.97; $372.16 for lumber, $42.30 for cement and $153.85 for labor.
In 1935, WPA workers built two 20,000-gallon cisterns to hold water at either end of town. The fire department incorporated in July 1936 with the following members: Simon Albinger, Carl Aurig, Ed Beger, Frank Beuesewitz, Ed Fickler, Hilbert Geidel, Carl Goldammer, Nic Mueller, Edwin Rieke, Ernst Schulze, Robert Schulze, Clarence Voigt, Dewey Weinreich and Fred Weinreich.
In October of both 1939 and 1940, two Chevrolet trucks were purchased and fitted with a pump and tank. In October of 1948, the department celebrated its Silver Jubilee, and purchased a siren to notify the men of fires for a cost of $725.00. The next year, the St. Martin’s Youth Group, under the organization of Arthur Degnitz, performed a play at the Turner Hall, with proceeds going to the fire department.
In 1954 a new Ford chassis was purchased from JP Lochen Company in Newburg and had a Darley 500 pump and tank body built in Appleton. An addition was built onto the station. Property was purchased in 1958 and in 1963, across Highway H on Trading Post Trail, from Otto Schuster and Edwin Rieke for a new fire station, which was built in 1964 for $11,000.00. The old frame building was hauled across the road to be used as a storage garage behind the former Wittig’s Sore. Also that year, the department joined “Mutual Aid” which became the Washington County Fire Chiefs Association. In 1966 a 1959 IHC chassis was purchased and members of the department installed a 1,8000-gallon tank. Two years later a Chevrolet van was purchased with racks built by Steve Igel to carry the department’s small equipment.
In 1970 the firemen purchased their first grass fire truck, a four wheel drive Chevrolet with a tank and hose installed by the members. It was also the year that alerter radios came to be used for notification of a fire, with dispatching now going through the Washington County Sheriff’s Department instead of by fire phone. Seven years later individual pagers were put into use. A new pumper truck was purchased in 1974. During the ice storm of 1976 the fire department hauled water for area farmers to give to cattle while nearly all county residents were without power for ten days. Dry ice was made available at the station, which was manned twenty-four hours a day.
In February 1978, a second reel of hose was added to the grassfire unit to aid in clean up. In April, the department joined a group of eight other departments in the purchase of a used high pressure air compressor to fill air bottles for ht air packs. The group became the Tri-County Air, with the compressor located at the Waubeka Fire Department. In 1979, more property was purchases from Robert and Laura Spinti, which gave them an open area to the south of the station. The property had an old house on it which was used for training and to do search and rescue procedures. In September, the men’s water fight team won second place at the Southeastern State Tournament in Cedarburg. The Quad County Women’s Tournament was held at the Turner Park that month.
In 1981a new tanker with 3,000 gallon tank is delivered, which is the largest tanker in the county. A well is drilled at the new station, and later that year, they joined with other departments in the county to form the Washington County Fire Training Officers Association. In 1984, some members joined the Wisconsin State Firefighters Association, and an addition was built onto the station for a training room, kitchen, indoor restrooms and another truck bay. In 1985 a deluge gun was purchased, and the department had its first master stream device. Special equipment was purchased in 1985 and 1986: a hay probe thermometer and a foam educator for use on flammable liquid or car fires and power saw. When the department dropped out of the Tri-County Air, they went in with the Boltonville department to purchase a new air compressor and later ten new ISI Ranger air pack units. In October, the department hosted both the Washington County Fire Training Officers Association and the Washington County Fire Chiefs Association. Purchase of the 1932 fire truck was considered, but dropped due to lack of storage.
In 1986 a foam educator was purchased along with five pails of foam agent to be used on flammable liquid or care fires. In 1988 it was decided to allow members after age sixty-five to be dues-free lifelong members. In 1989 a tragic fire occurred in Waubeka which led to a discussion to develop guidelines for Critical Incident Stress Debriefings to be offered after such traumatic events. Also that year, an Emergency Vehicle Driving Course was offered, the department began running a pumper truck to all local auto accidents, and problems with false alarms was discussed. Three firefighters were injured when the department was called to fight a barn fire at the Charles Spaeth farm, assisted by Boltonville, Newburg, Waubeka, West Bend, Fredonia and Silver Creek. Later that fall, a barn raising was held.
In 1990 the grass fire truck and an older pumper truck were replaced. In 1992, the question of developing a First Responder Unit was proposed, and 31 people were trained when the program was organized in March of 1993, and a used ambulance was purchased. In 1993 dry hydrants were installed at both boat landings on Green Lake to improve the accessibility to the water supplies. These hydrants complemented the first one installed on a pond at the Calvin Steinert residence on Indian Lore Road with money acquired from a DNR matching grant. In 1994 the first Responders were invited to a mock tornado drill with Newburg Fire and Rescue. In March a new training tower was completed south of the station that included a shed-style roof for ladder practice, windows for window rescues, and a raised porch with entry door; later the siren was mounted on the tower. Also, the bylaws were amended to change the monthly meetings from the second Tuesday of the month to the second Monday starting in May of 1996. A Pierce Saver chassis with an enclosed top mount pump panel and pump was purchased, with a “Wet Down” hosted by the Boltonville Fire Department and including units from Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Fund du Lac Counties present.
In 2004-2005, the department built a 59 X 56-foot addition onto the front of the station, making more room for bathrooms and equipment, and four bays. Dan and Judy Arndt were one of several members and community people who made generous donations and loans for the addition, which members of the department worked on.
Several fundraisers through the years include auctions, the successful calendar sale, candy sale, brat and fish fries and picnics, the sale of used equipment, golf outings and Las Vegas Night.
In 2004, over forty members belong to the Fillmore Fire Department and First Responders. The five elected chiefs: 1923-1959-Simon Albinger; 1960-1976-Carl Hauch; 1977-1978-Harley Pufahl; 1979-2006: Calvin Steinert; 2007 to Present: Jeff Steinert.
Music: Rascal Flatts "Every Day"