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Public Notice



  • 1851- A fire originated in the office of the Woodstock Argus which destroyed a block along Van Buren Street. Argus was located where Angelo’s restaurant is now located.
  • 1856- A fire engine is purchased for $600. After testing it, it wouldn’t throw water.
  • September 15th, 1857- The County Board of Supervisors approves the construction of two cisterns in front of the new courthouse on Johnson Street, in part to be used for fire protection of the courthouse.
  • July 4th, 1858- A fire destroyed the first county court house building that was built in 1844 in the park in the square.
  • 1871-Wells are dug on the public square to be used in case of a fire.
  • October 8th, 1871- Nine buildings on Van Buren Street burned down from Dean Street to Johnson Street. This is the same day as The Great Chicago Fire and Peshtigo, WI fire.
  • 1872-A lot is purchased and an engine house is erected on Throop St.
  • August 27th, 1872- All buildings on Benton Street burned down from the Exchange Hotel on the corner of East Jackson Street to East Judd Street. Sixteen store buildings, one dwelling, and three barns are destroyed.
  • 1873- A fire company is organized.
  • 1880- Thieves use dynamite to blow open two safes in a building owned by Timothy Dacy which then was destroyed by fire, along with other buildings on the block.
  • August 10th, 1886- The first of two fires occurred at the Woodstock Brewery and Bottling Company.
  • 1889- The Woodstock City Hall is constructed. It includes a fire station along with the Opera House, library, and city offices.
  • February 1892- A fire broke out in the Waverly House burning it to the ground along with most of the buildings on the east side of Main Street going north. Harvard Fire Department assisted. Water was pumped from cisterns at the depot and in the park.
  • April 15th, 1893-The Livery Stable on Benton Street caught fire and took with it other buildings north to East Jackson Street, including the old “Rat Hole.”
  • May 1902- The second fire at the Woodstock Brewery and Bottling Company broke out and took the building to the ground. Harvard Fire Department was called for extra hose to reach the fire but, it was too late.
  • December 9th, 1904- Flames spread from the floor under the “moving picture and stereopticon” equipment at the Opera House. Patrons panic and there was difficulty evacuating the balcony.
  • April 1908- Hall and Eckert lumber yard experienced a fire that burned the building to the ground. A freight train engineer alerted the town of the fire. The city had only one operating well at the time, but Oliver Typewriter which had its own reservoir, helped supply water.
  • January 3rd, 1911- Fire alarm boxes are installed on street corners around town for people to activate in the event of a fire.
  • March 1914- A fire which started in the basement of the city hall/opera house/fire station building spread to the first floor and was very challenging to extinguish. The fire caused considerable damage to the city electrical department, library and magistrate’s office.
  • December 2nd, 1919- A fire destroyed the 1867 Public School.
  • January 28th, 1936- Subzero temperatures. Fire destroyed the last remaining wood structure on the square. The building was located at the northeast corner of Cass and Main, and housed several businesses at the time of the fire.
  • 1939- An addition is constructed and the fire department moves to the back (Calhoun Street) side of the Opera House.
  • November 18th, 1944- Dorr, Seneca, Hartland, Greenwood Fire Protection District is formed to protect the rural parts surrounding Woodstock.
  • May 29th, 1947-The first engine is delivered to the Dorr, Greenwood, Seneca, Hartland FPD.
  • June 1947- A siren is installed to alert the firefighters of the newly formed fire protection district.


  • 1952- Fire alarm boxes are removed from the street corners.
  • 1956- A major fire occurred at the Dacy Electric Company on Benton Street. The business was completely gutted.
  • June 1957- The Dorr, Greenwood, Seneca, Hartland FPD separates from the Woodstock City Fire Department and moves to a garage on East Calhoun Street.
  • October 1965- A new firehouse at 435 East Judd Street is erected for the Dorr, Greenwood, Seneca, Hartland FPD.
  • September 1st, 1968- The Woodstock Rescue Squad is established and operates using volunteers and donations from the citizens of Woodstock.
  • September 25th, 1970- Dorr, Seneca, Hartland, Greenwood Fire Protection District changed the name to the Woodstock Rural Fire Protection District.
  • 1973- The Woodstock Moose Lodge donates $1,975.54 to the Woodstock Rescue Squad.
  • 1973- A corn bin fire at Knoll’s Grain on Short Street and burned for two weeks. A company that specializes in grain fires was brought in from South Dakota to aid in the extinguishing of the fire.
  • 1975- The Woodstock Rescue Squad answers 2,810 calls since being established.
  • 1976- The Tye Barn on Throop Street was totally destroyed by fire.
  • September 1983- Leading officials from the Rescue Squad, Fire District, and City Fire Department meet to discuss merging all three emergency service providers into one.
  • January 1st, 1984- The Woodstock Rescue Squad officially will be designated as the city ambulance department.
  • 1984- A tax is approved for the Woodstock Rescue Squad.
  • 1988- A fire occurred in the Knuth Sporting Goods Store on Main Street. The roof and second floor were destroyed.
  • 1990- Four hours into the year, a fire occurred in the old Saint Johns Lutheran Church at the corner of Jefferson and Calhoun Street.
  • 1992- Two major fires occurred twenty minutes apart. An arsonist set fire to a warehouse on Irving Street. The second fire was started on the rear of Duffy’s Tavern on Benton Street.

Beginning of the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District


  • October – The Woodstock Rural Fire Protection District, Woodstock City Fire Department, and Woodstock Rescue Squad merged together to form the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District. District staff is: Administrator Ralph Webster, Fire Chief Dick Menzel, and Fire Prevention Chief Phil Parker.


  • A new firehouse is built at 1325 Dean Street and the old firehouse located on South Street is closed.


  • January – The District hires six full-time Firefighter/Paramedics: Debby Bailey, Brendan Parker, Danielle Reid, Karen Bush, Mike Hill, and Scott Nieman.
  • November – Terry Menzel is hired full time as Deputy Chief.


  • September – A $279,780 federal grant is awarded to the District for the purchase of 86 sets of turnout gear, 1 clothing extractor, and vehicle exhaust systems for station 1, 2, and maintenance garage.


  • March – Edge town bowl is destroyed by fire
  • April – An Ambulance Service Fund referendum is successful, providing funding to increase staffing
  • September – A $172,390 federal grant is awarded to the District for the purchase of portable radios and mobile data base computers for the front line vehicles
  • October – Pat Keefe, Chad Williams, Ryan Mains, and Nick Weir are hired as full time Firefighter/Paramedics


  • January – Mike Brinkman, John Potoczky, and Matt Schultz are hired as full time Firefighters/Paramedics
  • July 17th – Patrick Ryan, Jeff Lesniak, Ryan Zbierski, Matthew Hedges, Nathaniel Burns, Timothy Schroeder, Scott Ritzert, Christopher Weber, and Michael Wurtz are hired as full time Firefighter/Paramedics


  • Lieutenant Brendan Parker receives the 2007 Firefighter of the year award
  • DeAngelo Cooke, Eric Vizanko, and Zach Beatty are hired as full time Firefighter/Paramedics
  • August – The original fire bell from the first engine house of the Woodstock Fire Company is placed in the opera house tower
  • October – Karen Bush, Mike Hill, Scott Nieman, Brendan Parker, and Danielle Reid were promoted to the career rank of Lieutenant.


  • Fire Chief Ralph Webster receives the 2008 Firefighter of the year award
  • February – Aaron Krejci is hired as a full time Firefighter/Paramedic
  • June – Doug Erb is hired full time as Division Chief of Training, and Mike Shannon is hired as full time Mechanic
  • A new ambulance is purchased and housed at station 2


  • Division Chief Doug Erb receives the 2009 Firefighter of the year award
  • Station 3 is constructed and open at 2900 Raffle Rd
  • March – Mike Brinkman is promoted to career rank of Lieutenant.
  • December – Eric Lozowski, Jeff Randecker, and Scott Wessel are hired as full time Firefighter/Paramedics.
  • December – A $971,252 federal grant spanning over four years is awarded to the District for the hiring of 3 full time firefighters


  • Assistant Chief Pat Burke receives the 2010 Firefighter of the year award
  • January 1st – A new ladder truck and engine are purchased. The truck (T81) is housed at station 1, and the engine (E33) is housed at station 3
  • April – A $306,830 federal grant is awarded to the District for the purchase of 45 self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA’s) and 1 SCBA compressor/filling station


  • Lieutenant Scott Nieman receives the 2011 Firefighter of the year award
  • January 1st – Through an intergovernmental agreement, the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District provides services to the Village of Lakewood. The firehouse on Haligus road is staffed with three firefighter/paramedics
  • May 1st – A new ambulance is purchased. It is housed at station 1 as Ambulance 51
  • June – A record number of calls answered in one month, 412
  • July 1st – A shift commander position is created and staffed 24/7. It is housed at station 1
  • August 8th – Matt Gulli & Jake Biederer are hired as career Firefighter/Paramedics


  • Lieutenant Michael Shannon receives the 2012 Firefighter of the year award
  • January 19th – Eric Kristensen is hired as a career Firefighter/Paramedic
  • February 16th – Matt Hedges, Patrick Ryan, and Timothy Schroeder are promoted to the career rank of Lieutenant


  • FF/PM Sean Baumgartner receives the 2013 Firefighter of the year award
  • January 1st – The District begins the first-ever testing process for the position of Captains
  • January 24th – Joseph Brunetti and Joe Flores are hired as career Firefighter/Paramedics
  • March 28th – Karen Bush, Michael Hill, Brendan Parker, and Scott Nieman are promoted to the rank of Captain
  • April 25th – The District received the Assistance to Firefighter Grant for Physical Fitness Equipment at all three stations.
  • April 25th – Eric Vizanko, Zach Beatty, and John Potoczky are promoted to the career rank of Lieutenant
  • June 27th – The District donates the rehab 5 vehicle to Metropolitan Emergency Support Services(MESS)
  • August 22nd – Quinn Murphy and Tyler Webster are hired as career Firefighter/Paramedics
  • October 31st – Ralph Webster celebrated his 20 year anniversary as the Chief of the District
  • November 1st – The District celebrates its 20th anniversary


  • Lieutenant Chad Williams receives the 2014 Firefighter of the year award
  • March 24th – Nate Burns and Jeff Lesniak are promoted to career rank of Lieutenant
  • April 23rd – Brandon Teresi is hired as a career Firefighter/Paramedic
  • June 26th – Paul Heideman, Adam Mass, and Jason Miller are hired as career Firefighter/Paramedics


  • FF/PM Joe Flores receives the 2015 Firefighter of the year award
  • A new shift commander vehicle is purchased


  • FF/PM Tyler Webster receives the 2016 Firefighter of the year award
  • January 1st – The District no longer provides FIRE/EMS services to the Village of Lakewood as the contract expired
  • April 30th – The District decides not to fill the rank of Deputy Chief and Terry Menzel retires after 43 years of service at which 13 of those years were at the rank of Deputy Chief.
  • September 30th – Ralph Webster retires as Fire Chief after 33 years of service. He served as Fire Chief for 25 years
  • October 1st– Michael Hill is appointed as the Fire Chief
  • November – Three new thermal imaging cameras, one battery powered Hurst tool, and three cardiac defibrillators are purchased and placed into service
  • December- A new staff vehicle is purchased


  • Lt. Jeff Lesniak receives the 2017 Firefighter of the year award