OREGON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT (1965)
1st row (L to R): Dick Schmale, Dick Anderson, Don Noyce, Al Gasner, Marv Jensen, Norm Champion, Gerald Booth, Russ Neath, Lloyd Bavery, Don Xander, Harold Wendt, Chief Don Bunnell.
Back row: James Brimmer, Bob Lawry, Art Schrock, Ed Lawson, Bill Hagstrom, Neil Denton, Earl Gransee, Fritz Kivlin, Earl Wheeler, Frank Johnson, and Don Smith
In 1925, the fire department put their first motor driven fire equipment into use. The cost was $3,000. It had a 300-gallon tank and was capable of pumping 50 gallons per minute. A Chevrolet ladder truck was purchased in 1926. Gerald Booth, Sr. was fire chief at this time.
Oregon Engine Company Number One was organized on March 14, 1894. Harley Criddle was the first fire chief. In this photograph, Emmett “Shorty” Erfurth is shown in front of a water cannon purchased in 1910 and a 12-man Niagra hand pumper purchased in 1890. Cisterns were located throughout the village that supplied water to the pumper and cannon. The cisterns were refilled after each use.
In 1940, a Ford tank truck with a capacity of 900 gallons was purchased by the Towns of Dunn, Rutland, Fitchburg and Oregon. This was the first tank truck for the fire department service in rural areas in Wisconsin and the first tank truck outside of Milwaukee County. In 1947, the Oregon Fire Department purchased its first oxygen mask. Shown in the above photograph are, left to right: Captain Raymond Noyce wearing the oxygen mask; policeman George Johnson, a former fireman for 28 years; Norton Ames, chairman of the fire and police commission and Fire Chief Ernest Culb.
Volunteer firemen, many of whom were local businessmen, dropped what they were doing and raced to the fire station when the fire whistle signaled there was a fire in the vicinity.