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Department History


The Twin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department was organized March 4, 1929 by approximately twenty men. Charter members were Virgil Richter, Jack Evans, Fred Rieman, Joe Beyers, Hans Dietrich, Earl Ward, William Voss, John Richter, Herbert Koenig, Paul Brown, Frank Jahns, Arnold Buschman, Gail Platss, James Carey, Harvey Richter, George Roepke, Roy Winters, Max Schoor, William Staudenmeyer, George Staudemeyer, and Andrew Stohr.


Virgil Richter was elected the first chief and meetings were in the basements of various homes. A 1928 Pirsch built Chevrolet pumper with a 500 gallon pump was purchased new by the township for $2,800. In December, 1929 Arnold Buschman was elected chief. In 1930 a used 1928 Model A Ford was purchased. The firemen installed a water tank on the back. Primary use was to bucket water from the Model A and dump it into the 1928 Pirsch pumper. These vehicles and other miscellaneous equipment were kept in Richter's Garage.


In September, 1941 Virgil Richter's Garage was destroyed by fire. Fortunately, Richter with his wife's assistance was able to pull the 1928 Pirsch fire truck from the flaming building and it was used to fight the fire. However, the 1928 Model A Ford truck was destroyed in the fire. In December of that year the fire department was incorporated under Section 213 of the Wisconsin Satatutes. Meetings were held the second Tuesday of each month and still are today.


In 1942 the members decided to have a building of their own. Land was donated by L.R. Winters and a 28 foot by 60 foot brick building was built which housed four pieces of equipment. In 1943 Gilbert Amborn was elected chief. Gil was chief for 34 years. Additional fire trucks were purchased throughout the years. Here is a short timeline of events:

  • 1972 - 31 foot by 86 foot addition was constructed
  • 1976 - Department added a women's auxillary
  • 1977 - Art Koehn elected fire chief
  • 1977 - November 17th Department First Blood Drive
  • 1980 - Donald Amborn elected fire chief
  • 1982 - New gable roof was built to replace the flat roofs
  • 1982 - April 7th First Annual Awards Banquet held
  • 1989 - 60th Anniversary Fish Fry held
  • 1990 - Storage area converted into meeting room, conference room and chief's office
  • 1993 - Wayne Trongeau elected fire chief
  • 2003 - Bruce Haase elected fire chief
  • 2009 - Stan Clause Jr. elected fire chief


Landmark fires to be remembered were:

Twin Lakes Garage, September 1941 ; Hess & Vite Tavern & Hotel (Sportsman Lodge), March 1959; A.H. Lois Feed Store, May 1961; Commodore Barry Hotel, February 1962; Bovee Barn, February 1963; Ackerman Hotel, October 1965.


Rescue Squad

First Rescue SquadThe Twin Lakes Rescue Squad was formed in 1949, the first such organization in western Kenosha County. Some members of the Twin Lakes Vol. Fire Department saw a need for emergency medical service in their area. These members being Harold (Bing) Gauger, Frank Zerfas, George Hildebrandt Jr., Paul Brown, Elmer Winter, Ernest Whitrock, George Goodwin, Gilbert Amborn and Earl VanHorne. Earl VanHorne was the first captain (chief) of the Rescue Squad.


At first these members hauled patients in the back of a station wagon. They then purchased a new 1949 panel truck costing $2000.00 which they used for many years. The American Legion bought the first stretcher for the squad. Members were trained in first aid by the American Red Cross.


The Twin Lakes Rescue Squad initially covered the areas of Randall Township, Wilmot, Silver Lake, Lily Lake, New Munster, Powers Lake, Wheatland Township, Camp Lake, Trevor, Rock Lake, Bohners Lake, Pell Lake, as well as the Village of Twin Lakes.


The rescue call came into Chief VanHornes' house and then his wife proceeded to call various rescue personnel. In 1965 phones were hooked up to ring in the rescue members homes.


Here is a short timeline of events:

  • 1961 - A custom-designed General Motors rescue truck from H. Barkow Co. was deliverd
  • 1962 - Squad received national attention when its exploits were pictorially presented in "Womans Day" magazine
  • 1964 - First baby (Amy Meinke) was born in rescue squad on Hwy KD en route to Burlington Hospital-delivered by Bill Breen
  • 1965 - John Kjellander became Rescue Squad Cap
  • 1966 - Second baby born (Julie Bialik) and delivered by John Kjellander and George Hildebrandt.
  • 1967 - New safety equipment truck purchased
  • 1969 - Donald Amborn became Rescue Captain
  • 1971 - 5 Members became first in Kenosha County to become Emergency Medical Technicians: George Brossard, John Kjellander, Don Ranker, Francis Stumpf Jr., and Wesley Redlin.
  • 1971 - Wesley Redling became Rescue Captain
  • 1972 - Donald Ranker became Rescue Captain
  • 1972 - New Dodge Maxi-Van delivered, first unit in Kenosha County to meet latest federal standards.
  • 1978 - Rescue Squad became first area squad to acquire alternative shock equipment.
  • 1979 - "Jaws of Life" were purchased.
  • 1981 - John Kjellander nominated EMT of the year in Kenosha County.
  • 1986 - Squad begins using new electronic defibrillators.
  • 1986 - Sqaud's first EMT-Intermediates are established: Tim Beyer, Bruce Kempken, Wayne Trongeau, Don Ranker, Bruce Haase, and Buster Amore.
  • 1987 - Don Ranker named Wisconsin EMT of the year.
  • 1990 - Timothy Beyer became Rescue Captain
  • 1993 - Darrel Stoen became Rescue Captain/Chief
  • *** Bill Glass, Ronald Redlin and Lee Redlin became Rescue Captain/Chief during some years between Darrel Stoen's past and current tenure.

Second Ambulance