Our History

Woodstock Fire/Rescue District 

1993 - Present

1993

• April – A referendum passed to consolidate the Woodstock Rural Fire Protection District, Woodstock City Fire Department, and Woodstock Rescue Squad together to form the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District.
• The City FD responds to 231 calls up to October 31st.

• The first female firefighter joins the City FD.
• November 1st – WFRD District staff is: Administrator Ralph Webster, Fire Chief Dick Menzel, and Fire Prevention Chief Phil Parker. Trustees are Robert Kristensen, Veron Sarbaugh, Kenneth Marunde, and John Kunzie, one seat remains open.
• A 3,000 gallon tanker (472) is purchased replacing Tanker (476)
• December 1st – The Paid-On-Premise (POP) Program that staffs apparatus utilizing part time employees extends the staffed ambulance company from 6AM-6PM to 6AM-10PM.

1995
• February 1st – The POP program is extended to 24 hours a day and operates out of the South Street Fire Station
• April 1st, Remodeling has begun on the Judd St. Fire Station (Station 1) and the Service garage next door (White Garage’s) is purchased.

1996
• February 10th – Dava National located at 333 E. Judd St. is destroyed by fire. A third alarm is activated that brings in surrounding fire departments to help with extinguishing the fire.
• October 1st – A Personnel Manual is created to provide the membership with direction on business outside of responding to calls.

1997
• January 1st – Two additional personnel are added to the POP program during the day shift 6AM-6PM giving a staffing of four. This allows for a staffed engine company and ambulance company. The engine company “jumps” to an ambulance for second ambulance calls. Staffing decreases during the night shift (6PM-6AM) to two.
• May 1st – Staffing increases to 5 during the day shift to allow for a three man engine company.

1998
• June 1st – A duty crew program is initiated which requires members to be “On-call” during the nighttime shift.

1999
• January 1st – A third person is added to the night shift. This allows for the three person crew to jump between the engine and ambulance. A part-time fire inspection program is created.
• February 1st – A fourth person is added to the night crew.
• March 1st – A fifth person is added to the night shift. An engine and ambulance are now staffed. The duty-crew program is eliminated now that 5 people are on 24 hours a day.
• October 31st – The lease between the District and the City of Woodstock for the uses of the South St. Fire house expires.

2000
• April 1st – A new firehouse is built at 1325 Dean Street and the old firehouse located on South Street is closed. Six personnel are on-duty 24 hours a day, three at each station.
• September, 1st – A Pension Referendum is passed.
• Calls answered 2,417

2001
• December 1st – White’s Garage that was operated by Jim White closes the doors for business. WFRD opens them back up and starts an in-house apparatus maintenance program. Routine maintenance is conducted by FF/EMT Wayne Lisenby.
• July 1st – Deputy Chief Terry Menzel is named second in command
• Calls answered 2,480

2002
• February 1st – A Fire Safety Trailer is purchased to help with educating school kids on fire safety.
• May 1st – The need for career firefighter/paramedics is discussed with a decision to hire 6 beginning January 1, 2003
• September 1st – Assistant Chief Phil Parker retires after 42 years of service to the citizens of the District.
• Calls answered 2,494

2003
• January 1st, – The District hires six full-time Firefighter/Paramedics: Debby Bailey, Brendan Parker, Danielle Reid, Karen Bush, Mike Hill, and Scott Nieman.
• The shift commander program begins and staffing is increased to 7. The part time officer core staffs the “buggy”.
• July 1st – Assistant Chief Pat Burke assumes the fire prevention bureau duties left behind by Assistant Chief Phil Parker. A/C Burke works 32 hours a week in the Bureau
• November – Terry Menzel is hired full time as Deputy Chief.
• Calls answered 2,739

2004
• March 1st, A referendum requesting additional funding is unsuccessful.
• August – The District board of Trustees passes an ordinance that creates a foreign fire insurance board
• September, 1st – 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.
• September, 1st – The Lake/McHenry Counties Specialized Response Teams (LMCSRT) is established.
• November, 1st – A second attempt at a referendum is unsuccessful.
• Calls answered 2,754

2005
• January 22nd – A fire was set in an apartment at the Stone Lake Apartment complex.
• The “Minutes Matter” campaign is launched to help pass a referendum.
• March 10th – Edge town bowl is destroyed by fire
• March 21st – A fire destroyed a 156 year-old building at 3708 Franklinville Road. Firefighters attempted to enter to extinguish the fire, but the fire had already taken a hold of the building. A body was also discovered one hour into the firefight.
• July 1st – Two additional FF/EMT’s are added to staffing. Station 1 has a staffed engine, ambulance, and shift commander. Station 2 continues to operate as a “jump” company.
• 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.
• September 5th – Hurricane Katrina makes land fall on Louisiana and Mississippi. MABAS Division 5 is activated and the following WFRD members spend 14 days in the City of New Orleans providing Fire Department services; Chief Webster, Assistant Chief Harry Hunt, Captain Shawn Parker, FF/PM Andy Harding, FF/PM Pat Keefe, and FF/PM Brendan Parker all responded.
• October – Pat Keefe, Chad Williams, Ryan Mains, and Nick Weir are hired as full time Firefighter/Paramedics.
• Calls answered 2,965

2006
• January – Mike Brinkman, John Potoczky, and Matt Schultz are hired as full time Firefighters/Paramedics.
• July 1st, – Staffing is increased to 10
• 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.
• November 1st, – Staffing is increased to 12
• Calls answered 3,135

2007
• Lieutenant Brendan Parker receives the 2007 Firefighter of the year award. This is the first year that the District recognizes one member for outstanding work that they have completed to help the members provide the best service.
• May – An apartment fire occurred in the 700 block of St. John’s Road displacing 30 people. Significant heat, smoke, and water damage resulted in the apartment being a total loss.
• October- Brendan Parker, Danielle Reid, Karen Bush, Mike Hill, and Scott Nieman are promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. They are the first to be promoted to this rank.
• 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
• Calls answered 3,532

2008
• 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
• December 18th – A house was set on fire on Sandpiper Lane. The home was a total loss.
• Calls answered 3,586

2009
• Division Chief Doug Erb receives the 2009 Firefighter of the year award
• Station 3 is constructed and opens at 2900 Raffle Rd
• 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.
• Calls answered 3,429

2010
• 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.
• Calls answered 3,496

2011
• 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
• Calls answered 3,776

2012
• 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.
• Calls answered 3,991

2013
• 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. They are the first to be promoted to this rank
• 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
• Calls answered 3,997

2014
• Lieutenant Chad Williams receives the 2014 Firefighter of the year award
• February 7th, Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Wurtz (Badge #22) was laid to rest after a long and courageous fight with cancer. He dedicated 12 years of service to the residents and visitors of the District.
• March 6th – A fatal house fire occurred in the 500 block of E. Kimball Ave. claiming the life of one person.
• 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
• Calls answered 4,077

2015
• FF/PM Joe Flores receives the 2015 Firefighter of the year award
• A new shift commander vehicle is purchased
• Calls answered 4,222

2016
• 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
• Calls answered 4,189

2017
• Lt. Jeff Lesniak receives the 2017 Firefighter of the year award
• The Woodstock Police Department closes their dispatch center due to a state mandate. The Northeast Regional Communications Center (NERCOM) becomes the new dispatch center for the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District and Woodstock Police Department on May 1, 2017.
• A grant was awarded from ETSB in the amount of $22, 754.00 for costs incurred from switching to NERCOM.
• Three cardiac monitors are purchased for the front line ambulances and three AED’s are purchased for the front line fire apparatus.
• A battery powered extrication tool is purchased and stored on Engine 432. This tool is the first of its kind for WFRD as tools of this type are typically hydraulically driven by a gas motor.
• A new ambulance is purchased and housed at Station 2 as Ambulance 452.
• Calls answered 4,724

2018
• FF/PM Brandon Teresi receives the 2018 Firefighter of the year award.
• A new ambulance and engine are purchased.

WFRD Headquarters

435 East Judd Street

Woodstock, Illinois 60098

815.338.2621

Office Hours

Monday - Friday  8:00AM - 4:00PM

© 2019 Woodstock Fire/Rescue District