Fire stations of the world: Brainerd City Fire Department, in Minnesota, US
The Brainerd Fire Department was established in 1872 and is currently situated at 23 Laurel Street in Brainerd, Minnesota in the US, serving the residents of Brainerd and Baxter as well as the residents of six townships ie Crow Wing, Long Lake, Oak Lawn, Nokay Lake, St Mathias and Unorganised/1st Assessment. The Brainerd Fire Department offers a wide range of services to provide for a safe community and is headed up by Fire Chief Tim Holmes. Chief Holmes is responsible for the operation of the department and provides leadership to staff. Deputy chief/fire marshal Dave Cox provides fire code enforcement. Two battalion chiefs and five captains are amongst the ranks of 37 fire fighters serving the Brainerd Fire Department. Fire fighters respond to an average of 450 calls per year and serve 35 000 residents in their coverage area of nearly 300 square miles. Brainerd fire fighters train over 3 700 hours a year and reach over 15 000 children and adults annually with public education.
The Brainerd Fire Department was organised on 13 February 1872 in Askews Billiard Hall in Brainerd with 37 men paying one dollar each to belong. The only source of water in town was three town wells. The usual manner of fighting a fire was with the bucket brigade in which pails of water were passed from hand to hand down the line of men to the fire.
In 1885, a two-storey frame fire station was constructed at the north end of South Fifth Street. In the early 1890s, a team of iron grey horses were purchased. The equipment was arranged in such a way that at the sound of the alarm the team would come out of its stall, be harnessed and hitched to the wagon and be ready to roll, often times in less than a minute after the alarm sounded. Horses were used for 20 years.
In 1914, a new fire station was constructed on Fifth Street, next to the City Hall. The current fire station was constructed in 1982 and is located at 23 Laurel Street. In 2004, a substation was built at 1301 Mill Avenue and a training room addition was added to the main station.
1919 Model T Fire Engine
The Brainerd Fire Department Relief Association purchased the Model T in the late 1960s and the engine was originally owned by the Fridley Fire Department. In 1966, the truck's original engine was replaced with a 1970 Ford Pinto engine. Over the years, the Brainerd Fire Department has used the vintage engine in Fourth of July parades, annual fire department conferences and special requests for appearances.
Daryl Rubbelke, battalion chief with the Brainerd Fire Department, restored the engine; disassembling, distributing pieces and reassembling the entire engine in 2010 and 2011.
On 11 June 2020, Brainerd Fire Department received its new 2020 Sutphen SPH100 ladder truck. Brainerd fire fighters were joined by their families to ceremonially ‘push the truck into the station.’ The crew also transferred water from the old Ladder 2 into the new truck named Tower 20. Each of these traditions go back to the time of horse drawn fire engines and wagons. Tower 20 features a 100-foot, mid-mount ladder truck with a platform with a length of 48’6” and a wheelbase of 247”. It boasts a 2 000gpm water pump with 400 gallons of on-board water and 20 gallons of fire fighting foam. The platform is equipped with dual water monitors mounted on both sides allowing an open front for rescue or roof operations. Tower 20 carries 115’ of additional ground ladders and seats six fire fighters with five SCBA seating positions.
The Brainerd Fire Department is committed to ensuring that emergency responders have access to high-quality, modern training. Brainerd fire fighters train an average of 3 500 hours per year and includes communication, confined space, EMS, extrication, forcible entry, hazmat, ice and swift water rescue, live disaster drills, search and rescue, ventilation, water supply and wildland fire fighting. Fire fighters also receive training periodically to reach various certifications, such as fire instructor and fire officer. Officers within the Brainerd Fire Department are offered leadership training courses throughout the year.
Brainerd Fire Department has implemented the #PulsePoint Respond App within Crow Wing County. This app leverages modern technology and provides an opportunity for citizens to respond to cardiac arrests. In addition, it will advance the situational awareness of its first responders to EMS and fire incidents within Crow Wing County. PulsePoint Respond empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden #cardiacarrest. App users who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and willing to assist in case of an emergency can now be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR. Notifications are made within the app simultaneous to the dispatch of Brainerd Fire Department or county resources.
Source: Brainerd Fire Department