Winsted Fire and Rescue
By the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department
The Winsted Volunteer Fire Department was formed Dec. 3, 1889. The department’s first truck, a chain-driven Oshkosh, arrived in 1927.
In 1944, 33 feet of property was purchased for the construction of Winsted’s first fire station.
Over the years that followed, the bell was replaced by a siren and then by pagers, ambulance service was provided, fire trucks came and went, but one thing has stayed the same the dedication and devotion of the volunteers who make up the volunteer fire department.
The fire department operates with a roster of up to 30, all volunteer members, however is currently at 22 members. In 2015, the fire department had two resignations and added two new members.
The Winsted Volunteer Fire Department serves the city of Winsted, along with Hollywood, Victor, Winsted, and Woodland townships.
As of the end of 2015, the department had responded to a record setting 294 calls. In 2014, the department had 230 calls.
According to the state fire marshal’s 2014 “Fire in Minnesota” report, Winsted has the second-busiest fire department in Mcleod County (Hutchinson had 465 calls in 2014) and the third busiest when adding the mutual aid departments from Caver County and Wright County (Watertown had 255 calls in 2014).
In addition to providing general fire suppression services, the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department also provides fire cause determination, fire prevention services, cold water rescue, auto extrication, hazardous materials response, Skyward spotters, fire and medical coverage at Winstock, and hosts a spaghetti dinner the Thursday before Winstock and the annual firemen’s pancake breakfast the Sunday morning of the Winsted Summer Festival in August.
The Winsted Fire Department also operates a first-responder service, responding to all medical emergencies within its coverage area. The department operates with state-certified emergency medical technicians, and certified first responders.
The fire department continues to utilize state grant funding for training classes. Some of those trainings consist of yearly mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), blood bourne pathogen, confined space and haz-mat training, and a driving course. Other classes include auto extrication, pump operators course, search and rescue, SCBA Air Management and the Firefighter Survivability Prop. In 2016, the fire department also plans to take advantage of the Hutchinson fire training facility.
In 2016, the department plans to purchase 22 sets of new bunker gear, a new station generator and new reflective traffic vest, and will be looking into the purchase of a new Class A engine (pumper) to replace the 1972 Ford engine (pumper) that was purchased used from
The 2016 Winsted Fire Department officers and members include:
• Chief Chad Engel
• Assistant Chief Brian Langenfeld
• Assistant Chief Jon Davidson
• Captain Troy Scherping
• Captain Justin Hertzog (also serving as secretary)
• Captain Todd Koch
• Mike Laxen
• Jim Koch
• Dale Gatz
• Charlie Fiecke
• Tim Purcell
• Chad Stender
• Rose Heimerl
• Jamie Stender
• Brady Tormanen
• Matt Williams
• Kyle Thompson
• Ryan Chatterton
• Samantha Condon
• Jake Hertzog
• Bryan Schaust
• Matthew Marketon