Fire Department History

In 1972, the Marshfield Rural Fire Association got its start. The first tanker was located at the city fire department and was moved to the Town of Marshfield garage. The first tanker was stored and manned there. In the next few years to come the first Hewitt fire engine, Seagrave, was purchased from the City of Marshfield. Also bought for the Hewitt Fire Department was a Dodge Tanker. Then on October 6th, 1977, the equipment and men were put to the test with a fire at the Marshfield Milling Company. At the end of the decade in November 1979 Brush 1, a 1967 Kaiser Jeep, was bought from military surplus.

The 1980s brought change and structure to the Hewitt and Town of Marshfield’s fire departments. In 1980, the Hewitt Fire Station was built, and the Town of Marshfield’s in 1988. During this time period, the Hewitt Department bought Tanker 2, a 1980 International, from Mike Wunrow Trucking in Hewitt, WI. The Town of Marshfield obtained a 1985 Ford Tanker from Mike too in 1988.

During the early 1990s, the two departments worked jointly, but in two stations. Engine 1, a 1971 International, was purchased from Tinley Park, Illinois for Hewitt. Brush 2, a 1978 Chevrolet K‐20, was bought in 1995 as the Town of Marshfield brush truck. The first chili feed fundraiser was held on April 21, 1996.

It was shortly after this that the two departments merged. Leading up to this event was when all the Town of Marshfield fire equipment was moved to the Hewitt Fire Station on August 26th, 1996. On January 1st, 1997 the Town of Marshfield and Hewitt Fire Departments officially came to be the Hewitt Area Fire Department.

Later in the 1990s, the fire department continued to grow in service. The ice rescue team went into action in January 1997. Rescue 1, a 1985 Ford E‐350, was acquired from West Salem, Wisconsin First Responder Service in June 1997. Shortly following that, the Hewitt First Responder Unit was put into service in July 1997. The next year in February, Brush 2 and Ford Tanker, both Town of Marshfield vehicles, were painted red and white to match the Hewitt fleet. They were the first vehicles to be lettered with the Hewitt Area Fire Department. Continuing on in May 1998, the first WHEELS safety program was held. To end the decade in June of 1998, a dry hydrant was installed at Anderson pond located on County Highway Y near Stadt Road.

The new millennium had a busy start for the fire department. In March of 2000 office and storage space were added to the fire station. On March 8th, The Auburndale Recycling Center had a huge fire which the department supplied mutual aid to, in the capacity of manning the water load site.  At this site, members oversaw the pumping of over 1 million gallons of water for the Auburndale Fire Department.  A 2001 International  (Tanker 1) was delivered to the station, and a chassis was purchased from Mid‐State Truck in Marshfield.  The tanker was refurbished by Stainless Steel & Repair of Marshfield.  Another disastrous fire was at Prince on July 4th, 2000.  The department led the fight for 14 hours with 12 other area fire departments assisting in fighting the fire.  The year ended on a high note with the start of the department’s second major fundraiser, the Pumpkin Run in November.

The following year was just as busy as the previous one.  In February of 2001, the Snowmobile Rescue went into service after a snowmobile was donated by Craft’s Trading Center in Marshfield, and H & S Manufacturing donated the trailer.  Much later in the year, June, Tanker 2, a 1980 International, was refurbished by Stainless Steel and Repair in Marshfield, WI.  Using grants, fundraisers, and donations an auto defibrillator was purchased in July 2001, and a state usage license was granted.  On August 22nd, 2001 an engine committee was established, and the first meeting was held.  In October, Hewitt and Town of Marshfield pull out of Marshfield Rural Fire Association.  By December of the same year, the Hewitt Area Fire Commission was formed, and the Hewitt Area Fire Department began operating under the guidelines of the Commission.  By September 2002, the IOS Rating was lowered from 9 to 7 for fire protection for the Town of Marshfield and Village of Hewitt.

In 2003, big improvements to equipment were made.  In January a FEMA grant helped obtain new turnout gear.   That same month the Town of Marshfield and Hewitt Village Boards agree to put an engine purchase to an advisory referendum in April.  The April referendum passed with 80% of the voting residents in favor of an engine purchase.  So on August 23rd, 2003 Engine 2 was ordered from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI.  Fundraisers and donations helped buy a thermal imager in September 2003.   

After such a big year, all stood quiet until March 26th, 2004 when Engine 2 (2004 Pierce Saber Chassis) was delivered from Pierce, and placed in service on May 12th, 2004.  An open house for the public to see Engine 2, other aspects of the fire department and fire safety was held on July 17th.  Also that day the first reunion was held for the Town of Marshfield, Hewitt, and Hewitt Area Fire Department members.  Shortly thereafter in September 2004, the department received a FEMA(Federal Emergency Management Association) grant and ordered 23 SCBA’s (Self‐Contained Breathing Apparatus) and 27 bottles.

In February 2005, the new SCBA’s and bottles went online.  On February 15th the VERRC (Vehicle Evaluation Recommendation Replacement Committee) is formed.  Its purpose is to evaluate, existing fire department equipment, and make recommendations for replacement or refurbishment equipment.   Brush 3, a Polaris 6‐wheeler and trailer, was purchased from Bill’s Service Center in Stratford on August 26th, 2005.  The funds for this purchase were raised through Fire Department fundraisers and member donations.

Beginning in January 2006, the VERRC 5‐10‐15 year replacement plan was approved by the Hewitt Area Fire Commission.  Brush 3 was put online after members build the kid unit with the support of Stainless & Repair, Marshfield in April 2006.  An explorer post was developed in June 2006.  The snowmobile and trailer were taken out of service and sold in January 2007.

On October 10, 2008, the department presented a proposal for a new rescue unit to the Hewitt Area Fire Commission.  The Fire Commission did not have the money to purchase a vehicle.  The only way a purchase could be made was through a FEMA grant or fundraiser money.  Soon thereafter on January 19, 2009, the MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) was put into service.  Also completed in 2009 was an update of the SOG’s (Standard Operating Guidelines) and by‐laws.  The fire department also implemented job descriptions for officers.

2010 started off right with the reception of a FEMA grant for brush truck and department member physicals on February 11th.  In June, a safety committee was established.  In August the department received an air compressor from the City of Marshfield Fire Department.

In February 2011, Brush 2, 1978 Chevrolet K‐20, and Rescue 1 were taken out of service and sold.  The chassis purchased in October 2010 from Mid‐State Truck, Marshfield for new Brush 2, 2011 International, and body unit from Stainless Repair, Marshfield, was completed and put into service in February too.  Brush 2 was put on display in Green Bay for the State Fire Fighter Convention,  March 17th ‐19th, 2011, and in La Crosse for the State Fire Chief Convention, June 23rd‐25th, 2011.  An open house for the public to see Brush 2 and the second fire department reunion was held on September 24th, 2011