Fire stations of the world: Hudson Fire Department in St Croix County, Wisconsin in the US
The Hudson Fire Department Fire Station 1 is situated at 2121 Ward Avenue in Hudson, St Croix County, Wisconsin in the US. The station was built in 2020 and they moved from a station that was built in 1976 from which they responded to calls from for 44 years. The Hudson Fire Station is a precast concrete facility equipped with 14 apparatus bays.
It includes a large dispatch room, training room with a serving kitchen, fitness centre with large steam sauna, offices and conference rooms and a training/hose tower designed to allow for a multitude of training functions to occur within its shell. The hose tower provides for its originally deemed function, that of drying hoses. It also accommodates search and rescue training efforts, features repelling on its interior walls, allows for confined space rescue training, allows for raising and lowering down through the provided manhole with tripod and provides a high volume space for quick evacuation of exhaust fumes and smoke from the space.
Currently the fire department has 40 members. The only full-time department staff is the fire chief/fire marshall, the fire inspector and the administrative assistant. The department’s structure is a chief, 1st and 2nd assistant chiefs, three captains and three lieutenants.
The department responds to around 430 calls a year and the number keeps rising. Some of the calls are alarms, vehicle accidents, structure fires, grass fires, bomb threats, chemical spills, water rescues, downed power lines, mutual aid to other cities and many more. Members go through the same training as full-time fire fighters and are continually going to classes and drills. All members must be State Certified in order to be on the department. The department currently has three engines, one 95 foot ladder truck, two tankers, two brush trucks, one Tahoe and one zodiac boat for water rescue.
“The Hudson Fire Department was established in 1873 and since then, Hudson Fire Department has kept the residents of Hudson safe. We’ve got the latest equipment and training services, allowing us to quickly respond to each call we receive. Our residents have come to rely on us and we’re proud to serve them. We take the issue of fire safety and prevention very seriously. At Hudson Fire Department, the well being of our community is our ultimate goal.”
History of the Hudson Fire Department: 1873-present
The Hudson Fire Department was formed in 1873. The “Great Fire” of 1866 led the community to think about having a better organized and larger department. In 1872 there were several fires that sealed the deal to get an official fire department. These fires were in Chapin Hall House, the Coon & Platt’s Elevator and Warehouse and CD Powers’ Warehouse. On 3 April 1873 the Hudson fire Department was created. It was housed on Walnut Street where City Hall now stands. The fire department was its own company and it wasn’t until later it became a municipal department.
In the early 1900s the Police and Fire Commission was created and they appointed police and fire chiefs to their positions. When the commission formed, it appointed Charles H. Olson as the first fire chief. He was elected by the department in 1903 and officially appointed by the commission in 1910. In 1914 the Hudson Fire Department published a small booklet of its activities. Since then the structure of the department has not changed.
In the early days of the fire department a bell was used to let firefighters know when they needed to get to the station. Because of its limited sound range, the bell was most useful at night. If they were at work outside the town, they didn’t hear it during the day. A siren was later used but the same problem would come up. It had a farther range than the bell, but still could not be heard outside of town. Next the department used the telephone and this was used until 1977. The sheriff’s department used to get the calls before the development of 911. They would call all the fire fighters at once and keep repeating the location of the fire until they thought everyone had gotten the message. Now all fire fighters are issued pagers that allow them to travel greater distances and still receive the call.
Sources: Hudson Fire Department, Brunton Architects