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Department History

Letter read by John Hurley at the dedication of the newly constructed firehouse and meeting hall.

  We are gathered today to dedicate this fine new home of the Silver Creek Fire Department.  Yet, this is but another milestone in unselfish devotion in community pride.  Let’s turn back a few pages in history and see how this dream has become a reality.

  Back in 1850’s when the early settlers gave birth to Silver Creek, little did they visualize a settlement growing to such proportions. By the turn of the century, Silver Creek could boast of a sawmill, distillery, brewery, cheese factory, soda water factory, gristmill, blacksmith shop, saloon, store, school, and a church.  Wages were not high, only fifty cents a day, but prices weren’t high either.  For instance, Rietz’s rye sold for forty cents a gallon.  Even though the threat of fire lay in everyone’s mind, few means other than bucket brigades were able to avert disastrous losses.  It wasn’t until 1912 when the church burned, near what was the Billy Frauenheim farm that serious thought was given to organizing a volunteer fire department with what was then considered modern equipment.

  A group of dedicated citizens, headed by Otto Risse and Willie Gessner formed an organization called the Badger Club and rallied citizens to the promotion of worthy causes.  The members, whose names are all familiar, most of whom are descendants of original pioneers Walter Risse, Milton Hannert, Levi Hannert, Alex Schroeter, Alfred Schroeter, Raymond Schroeter, Henry Winter, Herman Schieferdecker, John Kohler, John Cill, and Peter Miller.

  By 1917 the first piece of fire fighting equipment was obtained, a two wheeled, soda acid hand-drawn rig.  Although, as today they were badly in debt, the Silver Creek Fire Department became a reality.  One of the early tests of their fire fighting prowess was when Herman Binder’s smoke house burned.  It behooves us to wonder whether all the hams and sausages were consumed by fire, or if the fire department had one of it’s first brat fries. 

  Incidentally, the fire house was in what is now Rollin Risse’s barn, so a two mile push and pull to the fire did work up a good appetite.  The official meeting hall was in Wille Gessner’s blacksmith shop at that time.

  In order to pay the debts, the community promoted dances and concerts which were given by the Risse Family Orchestra.  The community joined in giving several plays; namely “Blundering Billy” and “When Smith Stepped Out”.  These were played to “standing room only” crowds.  Frequent dances were given at Rietz’s Hall, above Risse’s Hardware Store and Tanck’s Hall, now Old Fort Silver to raise funds.

  In 1920 the fire department acquired its first permanent fire house on one acre of land obtained from Gertrude Rietz, which served until the present structure was built.

  Equipment was gradually modernized, by acquiring a Packard truck from Black River along with a portable pump, parts of which were later converted into a Ford chassis.  In 1959, the department acquired our present pumper from Cascade, a tank truck from Milwaukee and a utility truck from Barton.  A brand new pumper truck was purchased recently to bring up to modern standards the department we see now.

  Credit must be given to the untiring efforts of the fire chiefs, from Otto Risse and Alex Schroeter in the old days, down to Al Schladweiler, Ralph LaFever, Willard Hammen and Ralph Jung for the re-organizing and modernization of the department

  Not to be forgotten or overlooked is the very important cooperation of the ladies in the community.  It was through their efforts that much was contributed to the department.  Since the Ladies Auxiliary was organized in 1957, their contribution to the success of the department has been outstanding.  Many pieces of equipment were purchased through their efforts and presently all new tables and chairs and kitchen equipment are the latest items.

  God bless the members of the Silver Creek Fire Department, both men and women and let us pray for continued success and progress.

-John Hurley

Department Chiefs

Chief Officers 1957-2005
Silver Creek Fire Department Chief Officers 1957-2005
(Left to right) Willard Hammen, Alloys Schladweiler, Kent Schroeter, Timm Risse, Ralph Jung, John Hurley, Ralph LaFever, Asst. Chief Willard Schroeter, Wally Portschy


Otto Risse Not Available
Alex Schroeter Not Available
Al Schladweiler Not Available
Ralph LaFever Not Available
Ralph Jung 1971-1981
Willard Hammen 1981-1984
John Hurley 1984-1994
Kent Schroeter 1994-2000
Walter Portchey 2000-2002
Timm Risse 2002-2006

Todd Stange

emergency jurisdictions

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Fire Departments

Sheboygan County
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Historical Highlights
1917 Inception of the Silver Creek Fire Department
1917 First apparatus purchased; two-wheeled, soda acid hand-drawn rig
1920 First permanent firehouse established
1957 Women's Auxiliary established
1959 1st annual Chicken Barbecue held
1979 Silver Creek School fire
1988 Old Fort Silver Fire
1992 Delivery of 1992 Spartan Darley pumper built by Welch
1994 Delivery of 1994 International 4900 tanker built by Welch
1996 Argus Thermal Imaging Camera purchased
July 1998 Automatic Aid Agreement with Random Lake
2001 Women's Auxiliary re-established
2001 Implement LOSA program
May 2001 1st annual Gun Raffle held
November 2002 1st annual Steak Fry held
May 2004 Silver Creek Church Fire
August 2004 Delivery of 2004 International Darley Tanker/Pumper built by Elite Fire Apparatus
August 2005 Purchased 1995 GMC 2500 chassis to be used as a grass rig
September 2006 Department sells #3 equipment van
March 2007 1st annual miniature bowling fundraising tournament held
May 2007 Plymovent vehicle exhaust system installed
July 2007 Kohler 80KW backup generator installed
June 2008 Installed new concrete slab
August 2009 New hose, fog nozzles, piercing nozzles, Blitzfire, pagers put into service
September 2009 ISG thermal imaging camera placed into service
September 2010 MSA 5600 thermal imaging camera placed into service
September 2012 "The Deano" 21" 6.5HP Tempest Positive Fan placed into service
September 2017 Department celebrates 100 years of service
October 2017 Engine #10 1992 Spartan Darley pumper sold
October 2017 2012 International/Rosenbauer Engine 2060 put into service
October 2018 2017 Allmand NLV 2089 Light Tower put into service
July 2019 Department breaks ground on a 3,200 square foot building addition
February 2020 Department building addition opens to the public
March 2020 1996 Pierce Saber Squad 2085 put into service
November 2021 2021 John Deere 835M UTV put into service

FEMA Grants
2003 Sparky Hazard House $7,583

2003 Turnout gear, helmets, gloves, hoods, boots $31,122
2004 Scott air packs, handheld radios, base station $71,756
2006 Plymovent exhaust system & 80KW backup generator $87,312
2008 Thermal imaging camera, pagers, hoses, & nozzles $59,595
2016 Scott air packs, turnout gear, gloves, hoods, boots $179,818

Organizational Memberships

Badger Firefighter's

Wisconsin Fire
Chief's Association

MABAS Wisconsin

MABAS Division 113
Sheboygan County

Wisconsin State
Firefighter's Association

Sheboygan County Training Officer's Association

Eastern Wisconsin
Firefighter's Association
Sheboygan County
Chief's Association