Our History

 

The following is an account, as close is anyone can come, of the formation of the Richmond fire department and rescue squad.

 

Feb. 3rd 1926
A meeting was held at the Memorial Hall for the sole purpose of organizing a volunteer fire department. Chairman of the meeting was Mayor J. G. "Curly" Stevens. Election of officers was as follows:

  • Chief - William Sandgren

  • Assistant Chief - E.M. Stewart

  • Captain - William Peterson

  • Lieutenant - John Grant

  • Treasurer - Mayor J. G. "Curly" Stevens

  • Secretary - Charles Stewart

Twenty-one men were present at the first meeting.

 

Feb. 9th 1926
The first meeting of the Richmond volunteer for department was held.

 

April 13th 1926
The bylaws of the department were read and accepted.

The first fire truck was purchased from the Peter Pirsch fire company in Kenosha WI. It was a 1926 international with a 500 gallon per minute midship pump with chemical tanks mounted on top of a four-cylinder Lycoming engine.

A Packard touring car was purchased for the firemen to ride in to the fire calls.

 

Nov. 13th 1928
A motion was made to buy a second fire truck from Peter Pirsch for $1573.40. It was a chemical truck. Everybody wanted a one ton international with two wheel brakes. The Packard was sold for $11.

 

January 14th 1930
A dinner was held with the Village Board as guests. A short history of the department was read and it was stated that the department was completely out of debt and the equipment met fire underwriters requirements.

 

October 10th 1939
The members voted to buy a Diamond T truck for $1130 and a 500 gallon per minute pump from Peter Pirsch for $1970 making it the total of $3100. The truck was brought home on Dec. 29, 1939.

Jan. 14, 1941


It was decided that this meeting to go ahead with an election and whatever else was involved to form a fire protection district. The election was held on May 1st 1941 and it was passed, so the Richmond Burton Fire Protection District was born.

 

February 1950
A Rio truck was purchased from the Navy.

 

June 1950
The Rio water tanker was put into service. Frank Dammier did about 90 percent of all the work on the truck in his spare time. It was a nice addition to the department.

 

April 10th 1951
The department took delivery of a E.J. Resuscitator for $740.27

 

November 30th 1953
A fire phone system went into effect at midnight.

 

April 6th 1954
A 1947 Chevy one ton panel truck was purchased for $4300 to be used as our first rescue truck.

 

April 13th 1954
Theron Ehorn was elected as our first rescue captain.

 

Summer 1956
A new 1956 International pumper was delivered. It had a 500 gallon two-stage pump.

 

Summer of 1961
A deal was made with Charles Brennan to use his milk truck to haul water to rural fires. His truck was kept at the Plant when not in use.

 

August -- September 1961
Foley's garage was purchased to be used as a firehouse.

 

May 1962
A grass fire jeep was purchased from Woodstock Fire Department.

 

September 1962
A new one ton Chevy panel truck was purchased for use as a rescue truck. Genoa City purchased our old one.

 

January 1967
A Ford water tanker was purchased. It was received February 1968. It held 1000 gallons of water and had a power take off pump.

 

November 1969
A complete Plectron alerting system was ordered. This would speed up our response time to calls.

 

December 31, 1969
Richmond rescue squad took over Ehorn's Ambulance. it was donated free of charge to the rescue squad by Theron Ehorn.

 

November 1973
A new 1974 Dodge rescue truck was ordered to replace the current one which was getting too small.

 

July 1975
A new Horton ambulance mounted on a Dodge chassis was purchased. The original ambulance that was donated by Theron Ehorn was sold to the highest bidder.

 

September 1975
A new Ford fire truck was delivered. It and a 1000 gal. per minute pump and carried 800 gallons of water. It replaced the 1940 Diamond T pumper.

 

October 1976
We took delivery of a new 1976 International with a 2000 gallon milk tank to be used as a water tanker. This replaced the Rio truck. The new truck has a power take off pump to be used on grass fires.

 

June 1979
All firemen received personal pagers to wear on their person so that everybody was alerted to calls within a reasonable distance.

 

February 1981
A new Ford pumper with 5 man cab was put into service. It has a 1000 gallon per minute pump and replaced the 1956 international pumper.

 

May 1981

A general election was held and the rescue squad was made part of the fire district and was supported by tax money. Up until this time everything for the rescue squad was paid for entirely by donations from the people of Richmond and Spring Grove areas.

 

August 1981
The standard gas station across the street from the firehouse was purchased and was used to house rescue trucks.

 

June 30th 1983
A Ford chassis was purchased from Freund equipment and a milk tank was purchased from Elkhorn, WI. Freund equipment mounted the tank on the truck. It held 3800 gallons of water and had a power take off pump.

 

August 1985
A new ambulance arrived and was put into service.

 

August 2000
A HME/US Tanker Fire Truck with a 1500 GPM pump and 1250 gallons of water was put into service, replacing the 1975 truck.

 

August 2003
A new Peterbilt/US Tanker 3500 Gallon water tanker with a 500 GPM pump was placed in service

 

August 2004

Richmond Township FPD purchased a 2005 ambulance from MEDTEC which replaced the 1985 ambulance.

 

May 1, 2005

Rick M. Gallas appointed to the position of full-time Fire Chief of the Richmond Township Fire Protection District.

 

June 2005
The 1976 and 1967 Water Tankers were decommissioned and sold to local businesses.  The new 2003 Tanker does the job of all the previous tankers combined.

 

December 2005
A new station alerting system was installed.  This allows clear audio for the firefighters in the station when a call comes in.  Previously, Firefighters had to run to the radio room to hear the dispatch.  The system also scans the frequencies of neighboring departments and can play music from radio stations.  Totals Emergency Calls for 2005 = 410

 

January 2006
Richmond Township FPD placed its first ladder truck into service.  It was purchased from the Franklin Park Fire Department for $28,000 and was refurbished by the firefighters.  The 1991 Squad was decommissioned. 

 

August 1, 2006
The Richmond Fire Department transitioned to a new fire frequency.  We joined Spring Grove on a repeater radio system that they set up from funds from a grant they were awarded a few years later.  This frequency would later be named Fire North. Totals Emergency Calls for 2006 = 507

 

March 2007
A new 2006 Pierce Enforcer Fire Engine was purchased.  This demo engine replaced Engine 1447, a 1980 Peter Pirsch fire truck which broke down during a fire.  The new Engine was numbered Engine 1443.  This new engine was equipped with Advanced Life Support Equipment, Vehicle Extrication Equipment and Firefighting Foam. A John Deere Gator was donated to the department from Medcor Corp in McHenry. This unit was rehabbed by the firefighters and was numbered 1469.  It is in service for wildland EMS rescue.

 

December 2007
The Fire North Quad received a FEMA Grant for $500,000.00.  This award was for new pagers, radios and vehicle Laptop Computers called MDBs or Mobile Data Browsers.  In addition, money was allocated for major upgrades to our radio frequency, Fire North.  Totals Emergency Calls for 2007 = 545

 

January 2008
Richmond Fire assisted for a freak Tornado touchdown in Wheatland Wisconsin.  It first touched down in Harvard Illinois.  The Richmond area was spared from damage.

The Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Department sold a 1999 Horton/Ford ambulance to the district for $1.00.  This replaced our 1991 Ford/Mobile Medical.  The donated ambulance is numbered 1452 and is allowing us to buy time during these tight economical times before we need to buy a new ambulance.

 

February 1, 2008
The Fire North Quad officially went into service.  This cooperation of the four fire departments dispatched by the McHenry County Sheriff creates more cooperation, training, and communication between the agencies.  For any structural fire, all four agencies are dispatched simultaneously via the "Quad Call tone."  The stricken agency is assisted Automatically from the other three with a chief and fire truck from each.  On February 4, 2008, the Richmond Fire Department was struck with the first "Quad Call"; An industrial Structure Fire at Ex-Tech Corp on Burlington Road.  The response was an overwhelming success. 

 

March 2008
A Kubota ATV was donated to the department from Medcor Corp in McHenry.  This unit was rehabbed by the firefighters and a Compressed Water Form Unit was installed.  It is in service for wildland firefighting and is numbered 1468

 

July 2008
The department purchased a new 2008 Chevy Tahoe for the fire chief. 

July 15, 2008 - Our good friend, Lieutenant Ward Weber passed away.

 

September 2008
Gary Lang Chevy of McHenry donated a 2003 Silverado pickup truck to the department.  The truck was rehabbed by the firefighters and is numbered 1435.  It is used for utility purposes and school transport.  The Richmond Township fire protection district has come a long way since the first meeting in 1926.  Totals Emergency Calls for 2008 = 581

 

March 2009
The fire district received over $100,000 in federal assistance grant money.  This money was used to purchase new firefighting gear for all of the firefighters and 2 new thermal imaging cameras for engine 1441 and engine 1442.  Totals Emergency Calls for 2009 = 585

 

March 2010
The fire district received another federal AFG grant, this time to put an exhaust system in the station and to purchase a new compressor and cascade system for filling our SCBA bottles.  

 

June 2010
With the help of State Senator Pamela Althoff, the Chief Gallas was able to secure an $80,000 state grant for the reconstruction of the back parking lot and alley way. Actual reconstruction of the lot started on October 11th and was finished in two weeks time. 

Compiled by retired member Bob Stevens, and other contributors.  Totals Emergency Calls for 2010 = 659

 

December 2011

Totals Emergency Calls for 2011 = 625

 

December 2012

Totals Emergency Calls for 2012 = 661

 

December 2013

Totals Emergency Calls for 2013 = 575

 

October 2014

The department secured two Military HumVees for repurposing for fire service duty.  One will be converted into a Wildland Brush Truck and the other will be converted to an off road patient extraction vehicle, for removing injured patients from difficult terrain scenes that an ambulance cannot get to. Totals Emergency Calls for 2005 = 687

 

November 2015

Ambulance 3 obtained to replace Ambulance 1.  A 2010 Ford 350 truck chasis ambulance, the department purchased the ambulance from the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.