City of Brookfield Fire Department History Timeline


Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department was organized with temporary offices for six months on November 7th, and Franklin Wirth was chosen as Fire Chief and James Plank as Assistant Chief.


On April 10th Brookfield purchased a lot on Pleasant Street from Emmerich Schmidt for $600 for a Fire Station. They awarded the bid to Gordon Weber to build a 30' x 40' three door station for $3,247.37.
Election of permanent officers was held on May 1st
-Franklin Wirth, Chief
-James Plank, Assistant Chief
-Rudy Doman, Secretary
-Art Berris, Treasurer

​On Oct. 15 approval to purchase the first new Fire Truck, a 1948 Chevrolet, equipped with pump and equipment by the Peter Pirsch Company of Kenosha for $7,500 was granted.

City of Brookfield Fire Station and Trucks in 1947

1947 Fire Station and Trucks - BW


The department filed for Articles of Incorporation.


Edward P. Schweitzer joined the Department, later to become the first full-time employee of the Fire Department. 


A second fire truck was added to the fleet.


City of Brookfield became incorporated.


James Plank appointed Fire Chief and Edward Schweitzer Assistant Chief.


Edward Schweitzer appointed as third Fire Chief for the City of Brookfield.


City of Brookfield Fire Department is organized as a municipal Fire Department with a Chief and two full time employees, adding fourteen more before year’s end.

1980 Hendrickson Pirsch & Station One

1980 Hendrickson Pirsch

Station 2 on Lilly Rd and Newwell Dr

Station 2 Lilly and Newell

1976 Pierce Arrow Engine & Station 3 on Moorland Rd

1976 Pierce Arrow Engine 503 in front of Old Station 3

Chief Edward Schweitzer

Chief Schweitzer Department photo


In January, Fire Station 2 opened on Lilly Road, just south of Capitol Drive, and three additional firefighters were hired.


Eleven new employees were hired.


Six new employees were hired.


Ten new employees were hired, went to a three platoon work cycle, and a new aerial ladder truck was put into service. 


Six positions were cut from the Department due to City budget problems.


Opened Fire Station 3 at 1000 South Moorland Road with assistance of a Federal grant and $87,000 paid by the City.

One new firefighter was hired in November.


In March Chief Edward Schweitzer retired after 32 years of service to the City of Brookfield, 19 years as Chief, 16 as the full-time Chief.

​Lieutenant James H. Mehring, 38 and a 15 year member of the Department, was appointed Fire Chief on May 9.


The Department becomes a part of the Emergency Medical Services delivery system. An ambulance was staffed by Station #3 personnel and they responded to 332 incidents.


The department assumed entire responsibility of Emergency Medical Services for the City, formerly a Police Department function.

The Brookfield/Butler Hazardous Materials Team was established.
Land was purchased for Fire Station #4 - 4100 N. Brookfield Road.
Initiated fees for conducting State mandated fire inspections, and the City approved the Life Safety Code which covers all multi-dwelling and commercial buildings.
Added six new employees.


Hired a part-time administrative assistant, who later became full-time.


Hired one new firefighter. 


Added a full-time Training/EMS Coordinator Deputy Chief to the Department’s Command staff.


Chief Hobart Boswell of the Foxborough, Massachusetts Fire Department was requested by the Fire and Police Long Range Planning Committee to do an administrative review of the Fire Department. This report was completed in September of 1991.

​October 19th - Dedication of Brookfield’s new Public Safety Building.


Added two Firefighter positions.

​Mayor appointed EMS Committee to evaluate the needs of the City into the year 2000 including the possibility of the need for Paramedic service.


EMS Committee recommends that Paramedics become a part of the City’s EMS delivery system, and the City votes to include funding in 1995 to start a Paramedic program and for it to be in place by 1996.
Dr. John Martin was retained by the City to conduct an assessment of the Fire Department’s operations and management. His report was presented to the City in September of 1994.

​Added four Firefighter positions. 


Hired first Female Firefighter to the department. 

Nine Department Firefighter/EMT’s completed 22 weeks of intensive training at the Milwaukee county Paramedic Training Center and became Wisconsin Paramedic certified in July.

​Inspection Services and Fire Department consolidated.


Paramedic Ambulance MED 9 started April 1, 1996.

​Fire Department’s Survive Alive House is dedicated on September 30, 1996 and put into service for the 1996 fall semester.


Chief Mehring retires on April 2, and Deputy Chief John Dahms was appointed to Interim Fire Chief.


February 2nd - Timothy McGrath appointed to Chief of the City of Brookfield Fire Department as the third full time chief in the career history of Brookfield.

​June 1 - Took Ladder out of service and reorganized staffing at each station to five.


On June 15 the Paramedic Training Center was established and on July 20 the first paramedic class began with ten students.

​September – New Ladder 2171 (Quint) was put into service.

​October 5 – The City of Brookfield Fire Department was named the Waukesha County Government Agency of the Year. This award is given to the public agency that shows leadership through innovation and cost effective use of resources. The CBFD was presented this award for the creation of the Paramedic Training Center.

​December – Partnership with Waukesha County Technical College to provide EMT-I training to local fire departments.

1990s Photograph Slideshow


In March the first paramedic class graduated and in April the second ALS unit went into service.
Haz-Mat was consolidated with the New Berlin Fire Department.


Staff changes this year were: John Dahms is appointed as fourth Fire Chief, and an assistant chief position was converted into two part-time positions, public education and secretary.
Placed third paramedic ambulance in service.

​Sept 11, 2001 – After the FAA grounded all flights, former President George H. W. Bush stayed at the Embassy Suites. The Secret Service limousine was housed at Fire Station #3.


New Lifepak 12’s were placed into service and a new ambulance was purchased.


1999 Pierce ladder was replaced with a 2003 model at a cost of $75,000.
Facilities study of Station 2 and 3 were conducted.
Thermal imaging camera and SCBA were upgraded.


Transitioned to the new Waukesha County Communications Center (WCC) and implemented Firehouse Software.

​2005 Pierce Quantum fire engine placed in service.

​Saturday March 12th, at 12:51pm the Sheraton Hotel shooting occurred.

Two firefighters/paramedics volunteered for a month in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.


New Med Tec Ambulance placed in service.


After eleven years of dedicated service John Dahms retired as Fire Chief and Bill Selzer served as interim Fire Chief.


On June 8th Charlie Myers is appointed as fifth Fire Chief.

​On April 8th, fourteen calls for the shift including a 3 alarm fire at Guhring Inc occurred, then on June 7th through June 8 storms with flooding resulted in 176 calls for service.
New Med Tec ambulance was placed into service.

Groundbreaking at Station 2

New Station 2 Groundbreaking


After the facility studies ordered in 2004 was completed, it was determined that in order to meet the National Fire Protection Association response standards, a re-alignment of our stations was necessary in order to serve a larger percentage of our residents adequately. 

​Calhoun and Capitol was chosen for Station 2's new location and Calhoun and Greenfield was chosen for Station 3, then construction finally began in March. 
Took delivery of two Pierce Quantum fire engines.
On February 5th an intentional fire was set at Burlington Coat Factory and went to two alarms. Then on June 18th through June 19th storms with flooding resulted in 70 calls for service.


In January the Fire Station 3 was dedicated to the first volunteer Fire Chief Franklin Wirth and Fire Station 2 was dedicated to Fire Chief, Edward P. Schweitzer the first career Fire Chief.

​Department received Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $89,000 to purchase new paramedic monitor/defibrillators.

​New Incident Command van was placed into service.

​Recipient of the Flight for Life Scene Call of the Year.

​Increased the number of controlled intersections that have emergency vehicle preemption (EVP).

​On July 22 the Department responded to five times our normal call volume due to heavy rains.


The Paramedic Training Center Coordinator was replaced by an EMS and Fire Training Officer.


Department staff reorganization created an Assistant Chief position and Training Lieutenant position.

Department was awarded a $156,000.00 Firefighter Assistance Grant from FEMA to replace our existing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

City of New Berlin and the City of Brookfield have signed an intergovernmental agreement to provide closest apparatus joint response from our fire stations that reside along Greenfield Avenue.

Waukesha County Communications (WCC) implemented a new computer aided dispatch (CAD) software package.

Fire Department implemented mobile data computers in the apparatus The City of Brookfield ISO rating improved from a 4/9 to a 3/9.

On October 21 the Azana Spa shooting took place.


A two-seat, experimental aircraft that was intending to land at the Capitol Drive Airport in Brookfield crashed in a marshy area just north of the airfield on Tuesday, June 4th. View the WISN 12 News Report here.

​Department was awarded $199,000 from FEMA for new digital radios.


Horton Ambulance placed in service.

City entered into a contract with LifeQuest Services for ambulance billing. Training took place on medical data necessity to increase billing outcomes. LifeQuest has worked with Waukesha County’s Communication Center’s computer aided dispatch provider and ImageTrend Systems to develop an interface to population the electronic patient care reporting (ePCR) software.

​Three new thermal imaging cameras placed in service.

​On June 30 through July 1st storms resulted in 93 calls for service.


New digital radios placed in service.

​Rapid Deployment Craft (RDC) placed in service. Boat given to Parks Department.

​Low angle rope rescue equipment and training was purchased.

​The City of Brookfield ISO rating improved from a 3/9 to a 2/9.

Fire Station 3

Fire Station 3 - Greenfield Ave View

Fire Station 3 Apparatus Bay

Fire Station 3 - Calhoun Rd View

Fire Station 2

Fire Station 2

Fire Station 2 Apparatus Bay

Station 2

2014 Horton Ambulance

Horton Ambulance 2014