North Algona Wilberforce Fire Department 

Stations in Golden Lake, Rankin and Deacon

The History of the North Algona Wilberforce Fire Department

Prior to 1949 the bell on the schoolhouse would be rung continuously and all able bodied men were expected to respond to the fire by the quickest mode of transport available, be it horse, on foot or by automobile. Everyone is expected to bring their own buckets, shovels etc.

In 1949 the Council of North Algona Township approved the purchase of a new trailer mounted fire-fighting pump. The gasoline engine powered pump, which will be stored in the basement of Bill Krohn's service station, was the first fire-fighting apparatus for our municipality. Fires were still announced through the ringing of the schoolhouse bell and through the new telephone system. The telephone would be rung for thirty seconds to allow all persons to pick up and listen to the fire call. All able bodied men would still respond to the fire by the quickest mode of transport available, be it horse, on foot or by automobile. With their buckets, shovels etc. Bill Krohn, the fire chief, will bring the pump and hoses towed behind his tow truck to the scene of the fire.

In 1974 the Council of North Algona Township approved the purchase of a brand new 1974 King-Seagrave Pumper truck. The truck will be equipped with a 625 gallon per minute pump and 750 gallon water tank. Fire hose, ladders, helmets, jackets and boots will be provided to the current roster of fire-fighters. A new two bay fire hall is to be built to accommodate the new truck and the current trailer pump. Until the hall is built the new truck will be stored in the bay of Joe Remus' Shell service station. The fire hall was built on the current site of the Golden Lake Station and is still in service today.

In the mid 1970s a party line phone number is set up and selected members of the fire department have one of these "fire phones" installed in their home or business in addition to their own phone. This phone would be allowed to ring four times to allow adequate time for the fire-fighters to pick up the phone and hear the details of the call.

The 1980s see some additional improvements to the department. The original 1949 trailer mounted pump is mounted on the back of a military surplus Chevy 4X4 pickup truck and is used for filling trucks as well as fighting fires in places where the pumper truck cannot access. A used milk tanker is purchased and converted for use as a water tanker. There are now three vehicles in our two bay fire hall.

In 1993 a one bay fire hall is built in the Deacon area on donated land to service residents in the western end of our township. Another refurbished milk truck is donated and assigned to this station.

In the mid 1990's the North Algona Fire Department enters into agreements to provide fire protection to The Algonquin First Nations community and to South Algona Township. We will continue to provide this service until 2001 when the First Nations Community establishes its own fire department.

In 1999 another group of volunteers from the Rankin area embark on fundraising and build a new fire hall at Rankin. A pumper and tanker will be housed here once a group of volunteers are trained and equipped. A used pumper truck and a used tanker truck are purchased and refurbished to be put into service. Training of 19 volunteers for the Rankin Station starts in January 2002 and the Station begins responding to fire calls in 2003.

In 2000 the amalgamation of North Algona Township and Wilberforce Township creates the new municipality of North Algona Wilberforce. The newly renamed North Algona Wilberforce Fire Department now assumes responsibility for a larger response area. Most of Wilberforce is still served by the Douglas Fire Department. Three municipalities, North Algona Wilberforce, Admaston-Bromley and Bonnechere Valley, own the Douglas Fire Department. In 2004 Admaston Bromley Township assumes full ownership of the Douglas Fire Department and enters into protection agreements for Part of the former Wilberforce Township. We also enter into an agreement for fire services with Bonnechere Valley Township for the area just outside of Eganville.

Currently our fire department operates full stations at Golden Lake and Rankin and one substation at Deacon. Our fleet consists of three pumpers, three tankers, a walk-in rescue truck, a walk-around rescue truck and a 4X4 Pickup Truck.

In 2008 the Fire Department presented a fleet maintenance and replacement plan to ensure that mandated vehicle standards can be maintained in the coming years so that we can continue to provide fire protection services to our residents and visitors.

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