The New Brighton Village Fire Department began with two extension ladders and a hose cart that carried 600 feet of hose. The firefighters answered the call of a ringing alarm bell from the Town Hall. In an attempt to increase membership for fighting fires, compensation was approved by the Village Council in 1934 in the amount of $2.00 per call and $1.00 for each additional hour. The village maintained a a contract with the Saint Paul Fire Department for assistance fighting larger fires due to inadequate equipment.
In 1935, the Village purchased a fire siren and a truck with a pump. In 1937, the capabilities of the New Brighton Village Fire Department improved so much, the Mounds View Township board voted to pay New Brighton for fire protection. In 1940, another truck was purchased following community fundraisers. Due to World War II, New Brighton was no longer able to provide fire protection to Mounds View Township and the contact was cancelled.
In 1948, the Village of New Brighton adopted the by-laws of the newly organized New Brighton Fire Department. The first chief of the New Brighton Fire Department was Ed Krist. Since the formation of the New Brighton Fire Department 8 people have held the title of Chief: Ed Krist, Eugene Zamor, William Daniels, Herman Behrens, Jerry Frieden, Al Bauer, Mark Frieden, and Dan Olson, the current chief.
In 1947, the Village of New Brighton contained 1750 residents, small farms, and a few businesses. Sixty years later, the City of New Brighton contains over 22,000 residents, just under 10,000 residential units, and over 600 businesses. As the dynamics of the City have changed over the past 60 years so have the requirements of the New Brighton Fire Department. Today, the Fire Division of the Public Safety Department consists of highly trained firefighters capable of handling any emergency that may arise out of our changing society.
(Parts of this information was taken from “The New Brighton Fire Department, Celebrating Over 50 Years” by Edward L. & Rose Ann Schneider.
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