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History

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THE TOWN OF OAK CREEK IS ESTABLISHED

On August 13, 1840 the southern portion of the Town of Lake was split off to form the Town of Oak Creek, population 418.

THE OAK CREEK FIRE DEPARTMENT IS ESTABLISHEDHistorical picture taken in front of 1st fire station

95 years later, on May 7, 1935 the Oak Creek Fire Department was established as a 29 member volunteer organization.  The department's only station was located at the corner of Howell Avenue and Ryan Road and housed a single fire engine, a 1935 Pirsch.  Alwin Lampe was appointed the first Fire Chief.

TRAGEDY STRIKES!

In 1948 the Town of Oak Creek experiences its first fire fatality.  The Fire Department also experienced its first line-of-duty death when Chief Harry Dinaur died from injuries sustained responding to a fire incident.

Plant Viewl ooking northWE POWER COMPANY BUILDS POWER PLANT

The Oak Creek Power Plant built the first phase of their plant in 1951 on 400 acres of land on the border of Oak Creek and Racine.  It is now listed as the third largest generating station in Wisconsin. This signifies the beginning of the department's relationship with We Energies that still exists today to include joint training and operating procedures.

OAK CREEK IS DESIGNATED AS A 4TH CLASS CITY

In 1955, the Town of Oak Creek with the population of 4,807, is incorporated as a city. Through Wisconsin State Statutes, this designation provided for changes to the structure of government administration and the execution of corporate power.

THE FIRST AMBULANCE IS PURCHASEDOld-time ambulance

The department purchased its first ambulance, a 1955 Cadillac; and began providing emergency medical services to the community. Being able to provide medical care in the mid-fifties is the stepping stone to our paramedic program that exist today.  Today, 80% of the calls for service are emergency medical related.

FIVE CHILDREN DIE IN HOUSE FIRE

In 1955 five children die in a house fire caused by faulty wiring.  This was and still is Oak Creek's largest loss of life by fire.

NEW COMMUNICATIONS TOWER INSTALLED

In 1957 a new communications tower was constructed.  This project changed the way members were notified of incidents, reduced response times and contributed to scene safety.

Station 1 1962FULL-TIME PERSONNEL HIRED

In 1960 the department transitioned from a volunteer department to full-time. Full-time staffing included a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, 9 Firefighters and 2 Lieutenants.  This transition led to better daytime response and increased training. Staff members also began to sleep at the fire station which also led to quicker response times at night.

The department also moved into a new fire station located at 240 East Puetz Road.  This station replaced the original fire house located at the intersection of Howell Avenue and Ryan Road.  The new station provided modern accommodations for staff and equipment and was more centrally located within the city.

FIRE STATION #2 OPENS

Fire Station #2, located at 3950 East Oakwood Road opened in 1966.  This station was built to provide better service to the southern portion of the city and the We Energies Power Plant.

FIRST MAJOR AIR DISASTER

Oak Creek is located on the southern border of Mitchell International Airport.  On February 6, 1969, Oak Creek experienced its first major air disaster.  A Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker operated by the Wisconsin Air National Guard crashed in dense fog a little less than a mile south of College Avenue.  On final approach, the airplane contacted the ground short of the runway, broke-up and caught fire.  There were four fatalities out of eleven on board.

FIREFIGHTER'S RECEIVE ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRAINING

In 1970 seven firefighters attend emergency medical training to increase the level of care the department is able to provide to the community. The training was conducted by the Medical Society of Milwaukee and took 25 weeks to complete.  A few years later, the department had 25 members trained to this level.

ISO RATING OF 6/9

The department received a fire insurance (ISO) rating of 6/9 in 1975.  The system ISO uses to determine the rating of a Fire Department is called Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.  A scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best score.  This score is based on training, equipment and station locations.

FIRST CLERK/DISPATCHER HIRED

Acknowledging the need for administrative help and dispatching, the department's first clerk/dispatcher was hired in 1975.  Hiring an administrative dispatcher allowed the department to free up a firefighter for daytime response.

FIRE STATION #3 OPENSStation 3

In 2000, a third fire station was added.  Fire Station #3, located at 7000 S. 6th Street, was completed and occupied.  This station was built to address response time deficiencies in the northern portion of the city.

CITY OF OAK CREEK PROVIDES PARAMEDIC CARE

Seven members of the department complete Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic training IN 2000; allowing the department to begin providing paramedic-level medical services to the community.  Today, the department has 39 paramedics on staff.

TAX DAY FIRES

In 2003, the City of Oak Creek experiences one of the largest fire events in the City's history.  A train traveling southbound on the Union Pacific railroad started a series of grass fires that extended over a five mile stretch of the city.  The whole story can be found on the Fire Department's 2003 "Tax Day" Fires web page.

Sikh Temple Sign with flowersSIKH TEMPLE MASS SHOOTING

On August 5, 2012 a mass shooting occurred at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.  The gunman and six other people died and several people were injured.  Much like the Comfort Suites mass shooting incident in 2005, the incident and response led to the development of the Rescue Task Force (RTF). RTF guidelines, procedures and training have been developed to assist law enforcement and EMS/Fire to respond to these types of situations.

SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT

The department entered into a Shared Services agreement with the City of Milwaukee Fire Department in 2014.  This agreement allows for the closest, most appropriate apparatus to respond to incidents along the shared border between the two cities.

STATION #1 IS REPLACED

In 2015 Fire Station #1, originally built in 1960 was decommissioned.  The new station, located 1/4 mile south of the previous station, was completed and occupied that same year.  Today, this station provides staff with modern and efficient accommodations.

NEW ALERTING SYSTEM AND CAD RECOMMENDATIONS

The department implemented a new station alerting and CAD unit recommendations in 2015. This project was initiated to help reduce call processing times by automating several of the tasks performed by emergency services dispatchers.

ISO RATING OF 02/2Y

In 2016 the department achieved an ISO rating of 02/2Y.  In 41 years the department's ISO rating has decreased significantly from a rating of 6/9 in 1975.  This is due in part because of the addition of Fire Station #3 and the alerting system added the previous year.

OAK CREEK FIRE DEPARTMENT ACHIEVES AGENCY ACCREDITATION

The department having met the full requirements of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International is awarded accredited agency status.

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