Fire Department

Message from Chief Jon Strong:
The State of Iowa has a total of 12 certifications that can be obtained through the Fire Service Training Bureau. The Iowa
FSTB programs are IFSAC and ProBoard accredited. Each certification requires classroom instruction with hands-on training. There is a written exam at the end of each course with hands-on testing. The courses are Firefighter 1 (84 hrs), Firefighter 2 (33 hrs), Hazardous Materials Awareness (8 hrs), Hazardous Materials Operations (12 hrs), Driver Operator Pumper (32 hrs), Driver Operator Aerial (24 hrs), Fire Instructor 1 (32 hrs), Fire Instructor 2 (24 hrs), Fire Officer 1 (40 hrs), Fire Officer 2 (32 hrs), Fire Inspector 1 (40 hrs) and Fire Investigator (80 hrs).

There are many additional trainings and certifications that can be obtained that are not administered by the Iowa FSTB, some of these are as follows: Emergency Rescue Technician (ERT) 55 hrs, Wildland Firefighting (WL) 32 hrs, Scuba Diver 24 hrs with 3 pool dives and 4 open water dives, Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-B) 140 hrs, Paramedic (NRP) 1 yr.  All 29 firefighters are NIMS (National Incident Management System) Compliant and certified to the Hazardous Materials Operations Level.

In 2007 the Fire Department added a Junior Firefighter Program.  The program offers 2 positions for West Sioux High School Juniors or Seniors to become a member of the Fire Department  Through this program the student firefighter is assigned a mentor and will be able to attend trainings, meetings and emergency calls.  The students are not allowed to participate in the direct mitigation of an emergency incident but they may be at Incident Command to learn what happens at an emergency. Since the program began we have had 9 West Sioux students utilize this program.  Upon graduation, 3 of the students joined the Fire Department as regular members.

Under new national requirements, each firefighter must receive a minimum annual training of 24 hours.

Fire Chief

Jon Strong
FF1/FF2
October 2, 1974

Assistant Chief

Payne Allen
FF1/FF2/Instr. 1 & 2/FO1/FO2/ Inspec. 1/NRP/ERT
April 3, 2002

Captain

Chris Anderson
F1/ERT
December 4, 2002

Captain

Jeff Nohava
FF1/FF2/ERT/EMT-B
November 1, 1981

Captain

Jonny Strong
FF1/FF2
January 2, 2008

Treasurer

Jeff Carr
FF1/Diver
November 7, 1984

Secretary

James Bushby
FF1
May 1, 2000

Firefighter

Eric Anderson
F1/FF2/WL/Diver/EMT-B
November 8, 2006

Firefighter

Jeremy Anderson
FF1
December 3, 2008

Firefighter

Toney Barnes
FF1
February 3, 2016

Firefighter

Patrick Birgess
FF1/FF2/Instr. 1/EMT-B
September 7, 2011

Firefighter

Jon Burt
FF1
October 5, 2005

Firefighter

Steve Cobb
FF1
June 3, 2015

Firefighter

Jacob Grubb

April 15, 2017

Firefighter

Josh Huenink
FF1
May 5, 2010

Firefighter

Matt Jacobs
FF1/FF2
February 1, 2004-July 6, 2007
November 6, 2013

Firefighter

Jason Jans
FF1
May 6, 1995

Firefighter

Kylie Johnson
FF1/FF2
May 2, 2014

Firefighter

Josh Kleinhesselink
FF1/FF2
November 4, 2008

Firefighter

Matt Kraft
FF1/FF2/ERT
February 6, 2002

Firefighter

Johnathan Krug

May 3, 2017

Firefighter

Andrew Parmeter
FF1/FF2
July 17, 2013

Firefighter

Duane Schiefen
FF1/FF2
May 5, 1993

Firefighter

Nick Strong
FF1/FF2
January 5, 2011

Firefighter

Casey VanBochove

May 3, 2017

Firefighter

Myron “Mike” VanBochove
FF1
July 1, 2004

Firefighter

Logan VanNoort
F1/FF2
May 7, 2014

Firefighter

Darrell Westra
FF1
November 4, 1992

Firefighter

Doug Wilkens
FF1
February 1, 1986

 

The History of the Hawarden Fire Department

On May 6,1887, the first Hawarden City Council, which consisted of Mayor P.E. Granger, councilman, B.T. French, H.F. Wilkinson, J.A. Ashley, Will Hall, L.M. Linn, and N.P. Brown, and city council recorder L.D. Hobson met for the purpose of governing the community.

This City Council felt that one of the first improvements that should be made for the community was fire protection. On September 17, 1887, a petition from W.H. Leland was received, asking that a committee be appointed to confer with the C. & N.W. Railroad Co. as to a connection for their steam pump, which was located at the round house, to a water main through what is today Central Avenue. A motion was passed that the petition be granted when all residential property owners, owning property on Central Avenue in Hawarden, sign the petition and B.T. French was appointed a committee of one to confer with the railroad company.

On April 23, 1888, B.T. French, chairman of the fire committee, moved that the council purchase a double steam hand engine and a five-foot wheel hose cart, a village hook and ladder truck and five hundred feet of cotton hose. The motion carried and was referred to the fire committee for action.

Fire protection seemed to be a very important issue at this time as a public meeting was held to discuss it, but on June 23, 1888 French reported that the general opinion was, if the town could not put in a water works system it would be best not to purchase a fire engine at that time unless it was a chemical engine. As a result of that recommendation, a motion carried that the matter be dropped at that time, but the Mayor recommended that the city council purchase a triangle fire alarm and hang it over the entrance of the hook and ladder house. The council took action on the recommendation.

Records regarding the details of the progress of the fire fighting facilities of Hawarden at that time are very incomplete. It seems that fire protection was taken care of by volunteers, which included most of the male citizens using the hand equipment.

On April 23, 1891 the Hawarden City Council met in special session. Members present were Brewer, Jones, Hall, Quigley, and Gehan. A motion was made by Jones and seconded by Brewer that Frank may be appointed temporary Captain of the hose team for the purpose of organizing a fire company with H. Nickalson, O.A. Bader, B.O. Gibbs, and John Monaghan as assistants. The motion carried.

As a result of that meeting, the Hawarden Fire Department and the Hawarden Hook and Ladder Companies were organized. Sometime in 1893, the first fireman’s dance was held.

Under the sponsorship of Uncle J.W. Brewer who was a kindly old man with no family, with the interest of Hawarden very much at heart, and to wish his name be connected with Hawarden down through the years, the Hawarden Fire Department and the Hawarden Hook and Ladder Company were organized into the J.W. Brewer Fire Department on December 5, 1894.

The first officers of the new organization were: L.T. Kenny – Chief, O.A. Bader – Assistant Chief, George Weiland – Captain, Chris Ambler – Assistant Captain, Fred Boller – Secretary, and Tom Snyder – Treasurer. Snyder as treasurer only served one month and resigned. Walter Scott was elected to fill the vacancy and served in that office for five years.

Soon after the organization of the department, new uniforms were purchased to be worn at all social functions and celebrations.

The first fireman’s ball under this new organization was held on Christmas Eve 1894. The dance committee in charge of the first dance was Chris Ambler, Henry Schmidt, and Walter Scott.  The department has served Hawarden faithfully and well over the years. The department has had many serious fire calls, all without the loss of, or serious injury to a single fireman. The department has sponsored many community celebrations and has taken an active part and interest in all community affairs.

The membership of the Hawarden Fire Department changes quite rapidly, through death, members leaving the community and members reaching the age where they no longer are able to meet the strenuous labors of a firefighter. A large number of able-bodied young men and women of the community have belonged to the department at one time or another.