The next five years would see the Cedarburg Fire Department move
into the first generation of motorized fire apparatus. The
department would also respond to fires in areas a great distance
from Cedarburg that would not have been thought of before.
1924 saw the Cedarburg Fire Department purchase its first fire
truck. The vehicle was a Dodge-Graham with an Obenchain Boyce
body. A small 250 GPM pump was fitted on the front bumper of the
truck and made for pumping chemicals onto a fire. With the
addition of this truck the department was capable of bringing a
pump and hose to the fire without the use of two horse teams.
This also brought in the new and dangerous era of men riding on
the outside of the trucks where ever they could grab on. The new
truck was referred to as the Chemical and know responded first
to all fire calls.
|The Cedarburg Fire
Department's first fully motorized piece of equipment is
shown above. It is a 1924 Dodge-Graham truck with a
Obenchain Boyce body. (CFD Collection)
The members of the department began the work of revising the
constitution in 1924. The new constitution would be adopted the
On February 6th, 1925, the Cedarburg Fire Department
recorded its first English written Regular Meeting Minutes. The
new constitution was also adopted and also printed in English
for the first time. At this time the name of the organization
changed from the Cedarburg Fire Company to the Cedarburg Fire
Department in the minutes. The new constitution also changed the
date of rehearsals to the Thursday after the regular meeting. A
new form of membership was created in the constitution, Passive,
allowing members who were no longer capable of the physical
requirements of the department to remain.
The members of the department decided at the February meeting to
request that the Wisconsin State Firemenís Association
Tournament along with the Badger Firemenís Association
Tournament be held in Cedarburg to coincide with the
departmentís 60th anniversary.
The spring of 1925 proved to be dry and numerous grass
fires were reported. At the May Annual Meeting, the membership
elected George Armbruster to Secretary, the position his father,
John Armbruster, Sr., held for the past 39 years.
The Cedarburg Fire Department along with other members of
the community made up a large delegation that went to the annual
Wisconsin State Firemenís Tournament held in Watertown. The
delegates petitioned other member departments to vote for the
next tournament to be held in Cedarburg. The mayor of Cedarburg
even came to Watertown to show his support. When the ballots
were counted Cedarburg beat out itsí competition, Baraboo, 127
to 87 votes. The process now began for the planning of such a
large event to showcase the department and community.
On July 18, the department responded to one of its first
electrical fires at the Mrs. William Roebken residence. The
chemical truck and hook and ladder wagon responded. The damage
was limited to $800.
The department sent out postcards to its members for them to
decide on the type of membership they would like to maintain in
September of 1925.
The end of 1925 and the spring of 1926 saw the department
creating plans for the week long 60th Anniversary celebration
and tournaments. The celebration took place in the middle of
June. Numerous departments attended crowding the community. The
tournament parade included 19 cities and 14 marching bands, one
of the largest ever held.
With all of the events occurring the previous year 1927 proved
to be a rather quiet year.
A tradition that started long ago
and continues to this day is a family picnic. During this period
the department chose this event to be on the 4th of July after
the parade. The department also sponsored many fund raising
events such as dances and other social events.
|The Cedarburg Fire
Department Running Team in 1928 (CFD Collection)
In 1928, interest was raised in purchasing new equipment.
Originally the members only wanted to replace the hook and
ladder wagon with a new motorized vehicle. A truck committee was
formed to look at new equipment and manufacturers. However, upon
further investigation a new pumper was also requested. On July
6th the department requested the purchase of a hook and ladder
truck and a new pumper from the Peter Pirsch & Sons Company. The
price for the new equipment exceeded $10,500 and required the
department to take out a $9,000 loan. The new equipment saw the
end for the Steamer, Hook and Ladder Wagon, and hose wagon. The
department kept its Howe pumper and hose cart.
When the new pieces of equipment arrived, the Chief created a
list of drivers for the equipment and posted it monthly at the
station. This list would latter become a group now known as
In November of 1928, the department explored the use and
purchase of gas masks.
At a meeting in April 1929, Chief Schneider turned in a
resignation letter. However, at the next meeting held the
membership rejected the letter with a vote of 27 to 18. In May,
the department requested to created zoning that required
hydrants, however this was forwarded to the Common Council and
Mayor. A play was held in benefit of the department called, ďA
Pair of SixesĒ and raised some money.
On June 26th, at 12:30 pm a fire destroyed Mrs. J.
Alstonís barn and shed along with all of the contents including
A few monthís later on September 2nd, the department responded
to Brown Deer. The fire was at the Fuller-Goodman Lumber
Company. Resulting damage from the blaze was $15,000, a total
loss. This was quite a distance to be traveled for a fire even
today. 1929 proved to be a busy year for the department which
responded to 22 fire calls with a damage total of $2,290. Five
of the calls were outside of the city. It should be noted that
the department would charge a fee for services rendered outside
of the city.