The fire company took over the newly built garage in October 1937 and used this until 1963.
 
Unfortunately the booklet has no photo of the fire station.

From Steve Haasch Nov. 22, 2009: "There is an earlier anniversary booklet (50th anniversary) that has the picture of the fire house at the Sussex Community Hall on the front cover. The doors were where the windows of the Outreach center (Sussex Food Pantry) are today. Behind the garage area was a meeting room inside the building. I will try to find the picture. I still remember that firehouse. The first ‘Ambulance’ was called ‘The Rescue Truck” #454 and was actually an old police paddy wagon. It was later replaced with a larger International panel van when the firehouse moved to the new location. The radio system was part of the Waukesha County system, Sussex having number from 450 to 469. Their call sign was KDZ-464."


County Board OKs $500K for Sussex substation; New facility will serve Merton and Lisbon, too

The village's plans for a new substation to headquarter the Sheriff's Department deputies servicing Sussex, Lisbon and the Village of Merton received a much-anticipated boost March 25 when the Waukesha County Board voted to spend $500,000 to help build it.

The village's plans for a new substation to headquarter the Sheriff's Department deputies servicing Sussex, Lisbon and the Village of Merton received a much-anticipated boost March 25 when the Waukesha County Board voted to spend $500,000 to help build it.

"It's a win-win for both Sussex and the county," said County Board Chairman James Dwyer in a telephone interview last week.

The substation will replace what Dwyer called the "cramped quarters" of the Village Hall basement, whose 900 square feet now serves as headquarters for the deputies Sussex contracts for from the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The $1.15 million contract provides the village with multishift 24/7 police coverage.

The new facility "will allow us to do police work in a proper fashion, giving us more room to operate," Dwyer said.

While county assistance for the project was never much in doubt, how much the board would appropriate awaited Lisbon's decision last year to contract with the Sheriff's Department for police services.

The Villages of Sussex and Merton, both of which have such contracts with the county, had already committed themselves to the project when the Lisbon Town Board decided to eliminate its own police department and do likewise.

Sussex will put up the rest of the money for the project, but no one yet knows how much that will be. That's because the plans are too preliminary, village officials said.

The village has contracted with Yaggy Colby Associates of Minnesota to design what will be an estimated 4,000-square-foot addition to Sussex's firehouse on Main Street. The design firm, which also has offices in the City of Delafield, will work with a design committee that includes five members of its own staff, five representatives from the Sheriff's Department, five village staffers and Sussex Fire Chief Colin "Corky" Curtis.

Curtis said the committee is "tentatively leaning" toward adding the substation to the east side of the firehouse. The substation and the firehouse will have separate entrances "for security reasons," he added.

The addition will include some shared rooms and spaces for the two departments, including a locker room and storage space. Sheriff's Department deputies will also have their own interview rooms, office space and a reception area.

Sussex also plans to add "a few more sleeping quarters for future expansion, so more firefighters can stay overnight," Curtis said.

Besides the Sheriff's Department deputies serving the three communities, the substation will also serve as headquarters for two Sheriff's Department detectives on separate shifts and the squad car that now patrols the county's northeast quadrant out of Nashotah.

The village will pay the entire cost of maintaining the facility once it's built and will not charge its neighbors for a share of the expenses.

"I wouldn't say forever," added Assistant Village Administrator Jeremy Smith, "but at least not for the first few years."


Sheriff substation architect hired

The Village Board voted unanimously last Tuesday to hire Yaggy Colby architects to design the new Waukesha County Sheriff's Department substation addition to the Sussex Fire Station on Main Street.

The Village Board voted unanimously last Tuesday to hire Yaggy Colby architects to design the new Waukesha County Sheriff's Department substation addition to the Sussex Fire Station on Main Street.

The substation will provide a headquarters for Sheriff's Department deputies servicing the department's contracts with Sussex, Lisbon and the Village of Merton.

The overall addition also includes more space for the Sussex Fire Department.

"This is a wonderful opportunity in regional cooperation," said Sussex Village Administrator Evan Teich.

Waukesha County has pledged $500,000 to help build the substation.

Sussex will pay the architect $34,000 and oversee the construction. The village is also responsible for substation maintenance once it's in operation.

The Minneapolis-based Yaggy Colby will operate out of the company's Delafield office.

The village still needs to bid out the construction.

The design has to take into consideration more access to the building, Teich explained.

The village's paid-on-call firefighting system already has people coming and going from the Fire Station and bringing large and expensive equipment out onto a county highway, he added.

The new police station will draw about 80 walk-ins a month, plus the deputies themselves, Teich noted.

"We want to make sure that access in and out of the site is appropriate," he said.

While Teich stressed the importance of the deputies' and firefighting portions of the building blending architecturally, "you can't have the public in certain areas of the Police Department," he said.

Firefighters and the public would have separate entrances than the Police Department, which would require some private access points.


Working together for safe communities

New headquarters serves Merton, Lisbon and Sussex

Village of Sussex — Lake Country and Waukesha County officials participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week in front of a building they hope becomes a monument to intergovernmental cooperation.

The $1.8 million annex to the village fire station, that was scheduled to open for business Monday is designed to serve the public safety needs of Waukesha County as well as the Villages of Merton and Sussex and the Town of Lisbon.

It will be the headquarters for Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputies patrolling the northeast quadrant of the county as well as the three communities that have separate police service contracts with the Sheriff's Department.

Seven deputies are assigned to provide around-the-clock protection to the Village of Sussex. Two deputies are each assigned to work an eight-hour shift for the Town of Lisbon. One deputy serves various eight-hour shifts for the Village of Merton.

In addition, two sheriff's detectives will work eight-hour shifts at the regional substation, according to Sheriff Dan Trawicki.

Waukesha County contributed $500,000 to the project, which also includes facility improvements for the Village of Sussex Fire Station on Main Street.

Local officials recognized that providing cooperative public safety services in a single building was more important than building individual political fiefdom's, Trawicki said. Sussex Village President Tony Lapcinski said officers will be able to operate more effectively in the building because it will improve communications among the law-enforcement officers and permit then to spend more time in the communities rather than having to commute between the communities and the County Administration Building in Waukesha.

"They will also be more visible. They are going to be on Main Street. They won't be in the basement any longer," he added.

The deputies assigned to Sussex shared an office space in the basement of the Village Hall. Village of Merton officers work out of small office in that Village Hall, and those assigned to Lisbon worked out of a town public works building.

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said Supervisor Joe Osterman will negotiate with village officials over whether the town is willing to contribute to the salary of a full-time village employee who will work at an information desk in the substation.

Village officials have suggested that since residents of the town and the Village of Merton will benefit from services provided by the Sussex employee, those two communities should share in the cost of her salary.

Trawicki's idea for a regional substation was enhanced when the Town of Lisbon decided two years ago to dump its police department, which had become bogged down in personnel controversies, and replace it with a police service contract with the Sheriff's Department.

Gehrke cast a key vote in the Town Board decision that was spearheaded by former Town Chairman Michael Reed.

Some Merton officials have privately - and half-jokingly - suggested they are disappointed that the two to four county squad cars usually parked in front of the Village of Hall will be moved to the new Sussex facility.

The squads are a deterrent to speeders on Highway V near Village Hall and other potential criminal activity. .

One of those cars might remain at the Village Hall. It is assigned to a canine deputy who lives in Washington County. Trawicki said "something can be worked out" to keep the car in front of the Merton Village Hall.

Village President Bob Weber said the squad cars are a minor consideration compared to the benefits the village and other communities will receive from the new regional substation.

Weber said the Sheriff's Department can provide the village with cost-effective law enforcement service without village officials having to worry about operating its own police department.


Greenwald named Sussex Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter Shelly Greenwald was recently named Sussex Firefighter of the Year for 2007 by her fellow firefighters.

Firefighter Shelly Greenwald was recently named Sussex Firefighter of the Year for 2007 by her fellow firefighters.

Sussex Fire Chief Colin "Corky" Curtis announced the award, and several others, at the Sussex Fire Department's Founders Day banquet Friday.

A 2006 Hamilton High School graduate, Greenwald is the youngest firefighter in the department's history to earn the annual award. She joined the department's cadet program when she was still in high school.

"Shelly is a dedicated professional, a role model and a team player," Curtis said.

Others honored

Deputy Chief Tony Emanuele was given a Chief's Award and a plaque for 25 years of service.

Deputy Chief Cathy Selerski was recognized for 25 years of service; Lt. Jerrad Blenfeld and Boyd Thew for 10 years; and Bill Gribble, Barb Beres, Clint Beardsley and paramedic Ardith Gribble for five years.

The annual dinner and awards event commemorates the Jan. 30, 1922, Sussex Main Street School fire that caused the Village of Sussex to organize a fire department in May of that year, with 32 original charter members. The department has 50 members today.

News and notes

The Sussex Fire Department won two government grants this year: $2,500 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a mapping computer and a new pump for the department's grassfire truck and a $95,000 FEMA homeland security grant for self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters' backpacks to help them fight structural fires.

The Sussex Fire Department answered 690 calls in 2007, with a high of six calls a day several times.


Sussex FD recognizes members at banquet

Chief reports increase in calls compared to 2009

Village of Sussex — A series of awards highlighted the annual Sussex Fire Department banquet on Feb. 12 at Fairways of Woodside Golf Course. The annual banquet is held to commemorate the founding of the department in 1922 as a result of the Jan. 30, 1922, fire that destroyed the then 9-year-old red brick two-story Sussex Main Street School.

Approximately 90 firefighters, honorary members that have served 10 years or more, village officials and others attended the banquet. The following members received length-of-service plaques: Deputy Chief Greg Zoellick, 25 years; Christy Kiekenbush, five years, Steve Paulkner, five years and Josh Tyrrell, five years.

The Chief Award and Firefighter of the Year award was given to Jerry Trepanier.

"The Firefighter of the Year award is voted on by all current members of the fire department. The Chief's Award is given to a member who goes above and beyond in the course of the year," Sussex Fire Chief Colin "Corky" Curtis said.

Other highlights of the annual banquet were recognition of Ardith Gribble who was hired as a fulltime firefighter/paramedic in fall. Gribble joined the department in August of 2002 as a paid, on-call EMT. Other notable member news for 2010 included Steve Boldt and Chad Weber completing their paramedic class and received their state license. Chris Rayborn and Courtney Carlson have started their paramedic class and plan to finish in May. Lieutenant Randy Ware retired after 24 years of service.

Curtis also said 11 new members joined the department in the last year and the department responded to 724 calls which is up from 117 in 2009. He said the busiest day was July 24, 2010, which had 10 calls for duty which were associated with the heavy rainstorm that resulted in several inches of rain falling in the area in a matter of hours. Gribble said the calls were to respond to mostly residential problems associated with flooding.


Historic photo Sussex Fire Department discovered

A 1971 Sussex Fire Department group photo was recently donated to the Sussex Lisbon Area Historical Society museum by the Podlske sisters, Janet Bigus now of Menomonee Falls and Elaine Sherba of Seattle, Wash. They found it in a search of their grandfather's roll-top desk which had been left untouched when their father, Ray, died in 1991.

Historically, the department seemed to have an aversion to taking group photographs as there aren't many around today. There was a 1947, 25th anniversary photo and a 40th anniversary photo taken in 1962. This June 1971 photo was taken for the upcoming 50th anniversary followed by another set of photos that were compiled in a 50th anniversary booklet published and distributed in 1972.

The origin of the Sussex Fire Department goes back to Jan. 30, 1922 when Sussex Main Street School burned down. By May of 1922, members of the then Sussex Templeton Advancement Association staged an organizational fire company meeting on May 2, 1922. The department was initially called Lisbon Fire Company No. 1. but the name was later changed in 1931 to the Sussex Volunteer Fire Company during the purchase of a water-pumping fire truck. Lisbon allocated $50 toward the purchase with the Village of Sussex picking up the rest of the cost of the Ford Pirsch pumper that is still owned by the department and used for parades.

When the department formed in 1922, it had 32 members which became the norm for membership for many years and only a few changes were made to the department's operations up until the 1970s when the department membership increased a bit.

In 1922, the department covered 36 square miles of Lisbon and unincorporated Sussex which then had a population of about 1,600. By 1971, when this photo was taken, the combined area of Sussex and Lisbon had nearly 8,000 residents.

In 1982-83, the Town of Lisbon, with a population of 8,500, started its own fire department. Today, the combined population of two communities is more than 20,000 and Sussex's area has grown to seven-plus square miles.

Today the Sussex and Lisbon fire departments offer one another mutual aid handling more than 1,200 calls each year; Sussex had a record 724 calls in 2010. Both departments have now paid and paid-on call members. Today, the Sussex Fire Department has more than 50 members.

This photo was taken 40 years ago in the 8-year-old Sussex fire station that occupies a piece of land carved from the former Marsden-Moyes land that has become Sussex Village Park. Major additions have been made over the years since it opened in 1963 including the addition of the police station.

The 34-member photo taken in June of 1971 has 33 positive identifications and one probable. It was taken before women were able to join the department in 1982.

The photo was taken the last year Bob Stier was chief, he was replaced by Norman "Pepper" Steffen in 1972. Arnie Peterson served as chief from 1975-82, George Kastner from 1982-85, Charles Zimmerman came on board in 1985 and served as chief until '89 and Robert Schlei served as chief from 1990-93. All of these men are in pictured; 25 of the 34 pictured have died. Four of those in the photo were honorary firefighters meaning they served for more than 10 years. Steffen served for 33, Schlei and Fred Keller for 27 and James Darrow for 11 years.


Also see: Sussex Downtown 1966 "Urban Renewal" Fire