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Lannon History Index


This fire bucket was manufactured in approximately 1842 by the William Saunders Enterprise Fire Club in Lannon, Wisconsin.

All original paint

Some cracks on leather handle

18 inches tall including handle

12 inches tall without handle

08 inch top diameter

5.5 inch bottom diameter

[Click on each photo to enlarge]



   Editor note: This was sold on eBay about in 2012 for approx $500.00 Was unable to generate any interest from Lannon residents in its purchase

Lannon Fire Department

    When Lannon celebrated its' 50th birthday in 1980, the village fire department was celebrating its' 64th year. The Lannon Volunteer Fire Company was organized in 1916. It succeeded the "Bucket brigade", men who fought fires with pails and farmers' milk buckets.

    The original fire department had 17 members. Through the efforts of Charlie Horn, owner of the present Dugout tavern, the volunteer fire company was chartered with Wisconsin in 1917.

    While the present department (in 1980) has six trucks and two ambulances, originally, it had one hand-drawn cart. The two-wheel cart carried two 35 gallon chemical tanks and a 15 foot hose, with an opening of about an inch and a half in diameter. It took four men to push and pull it. The cart was kept in a garage at 20152 Main St. which served as the original firehouse and village board meeting place at times.    

    It wasn't very easy to effectively fight fires in the early years of the Lannon Volunteer Fire Company. The problems were numerous. Sometimes they would use a chemical tank faster than the other tank could be refilled. The tank lasted only for four or five minutes, then you had to add soda ash, sulfuric acid and 35 gallons of water to it.

    Sometimes the firefighters had to resort to the tactics of the "bucket brigade". The flames would crawl up a wall and there wasn't any ladders to get up that high. There wasn't equipment to go into smoke-filled rooms either. In fact, the firemen wore whatever they had on.

    Local blacksmiths, Otto and Herman Joecks, hand built the first ladder truck. That truck was usually pulled by hand too. It was made of a steel frame and buggy wheels. The frame was about 16 feet long and it carried six ladders that could extend about 30 feet.

    A Cadillac was Lannon's first motorized fire truck. The next piece of equipment was a 1929 Pirsch "Custom" pumper.

    The Department in 1980 has two 750 GPM pumpers, one 500 GPM pumper, two ambulances, one 2600 Gallon Capacity tank truck, and one utility vehicle.

    Until January, 1958, the Department was self-supporting by holding picnics, dances, etc. Since that time, the Department has been assisted financially by the Village of Lannon.

    Lannon has had 9+ Fire Chiefs since 1916:

Year(s) Fire Chief 1st Assistant Fire Chief 2nd Assistant Fire Chief Captain Captain Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant
1916-17 Charles Horn              
1917 (later half -19 (early) no Chief              
1919-20 Otto Joecks 1920 *William Miller            
1921-22 John Wessner 1921 William Miller, 1922 P. Dennis 1922 William Miller          
1923-27 Paul Dennis 1923 William Miller            
1927-33 Albert Feltes              
1933-45 Otto Rossman              
1945-60 Matt Schneider              
1960-64 Louis Gissal              
1964 - 1985+(?) Keith Gissal 1.  1.          
1990 Syd Gissal              
1993 Bob Chvosta              
1994 "              
1995 Gary Georgenson Jim Gissal  Ron Nelles Terry Kveen Joe Riefel Tom Gartman Wade Gruedeman Pam Gall

    * William Miller lived directly across the street from the fire house garage.

Bob Chvosta served for 1 1/2 yrs.

1. Syd Gissal  and Godfrey (Shupe) DeCristofaro held positions in 1970.

Lannon, Menomonee Falls agree to combine fire departments

Menomonee Falls After almost two years of discussion, officials from the villages of Menomonee Falls and Lannon have reached an agreement that will consolidate their fire departments starting in 2015.

The Menomonee Falls Village Board on Monday, May 19, approved the agreement, which Lannon approved last month. The agreement itself has taken a year of negotiation, primarily in closed session meetings between representatives of both villages on matters of how to most efficiently combine the equipment and resources of both departments, share funding of a consolidated department, and how the department would be run.

The result is a plan to incorporate the Lannon department into the Menomonee Falls department on a contractual, cost-sharing basis, a move Menomonee Falls Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said is in the best interest of the village in the long term.

Deferring costs

"This is the ideal time to begin this consolidation," Fitzgerald said. "It allows them to move their fire department units out of their small, cramped building downtown and gives us capital equipment valued at about $289,000 that will defer cost to the village, as well as their manpower."

Lannon delegates its authority for fire inspections, investigations, code enforcement and any other fire department operations to Menomonee Falls under the agreement, which also states Menomonee Falls will provide fire protection and EMS services to Lannon.

Current Lannon Fire Department personnel, which includes about 35 paid-on-call volunteers, will join a combination of part-time, full-time and paid- on-call volunteers within the Menomonee Falls department.

According to the agreement, Lannon is responsible for 4.95% of the annual budget for the first five years, at which point the formula will be recalculated every five years thereafter.

"We think this makes a lot of sense," Fitzgerald said. "It doesn't give Lannon the ability to veto operations or budget (proposals). Lannon believes this is in their best interest."

Savings for Lannon

The consolidation allows the village of Lannon a savings of the estimated $1.5 million cost to either remodel their existing fire station at village hall or construct a new station at a different location.

Instead, Lannon will be serviced primarily by the new Fire Station No. 1 in Menomonee Falls. Construction is slated to begin this month on the new Fire Station No. 1 at the southwest corner of Main Street and Menomonee Avenue, which will replace the existing Fire Station No. 1 downtown and become the Menomonee Falls/Lannon Fire Station.

The cost of the new Station No. 1 is estimated at $2.75 million, according to the plan, a percentage of which will be covered by Lannon based on the terms of the agreement. It is one of two new fire stations being constructed in the Falls this year, with Fire Station No. 5 on West Silver Spring Drive and One Mile Road is being constructed at an estimated $2.59 million.

Completion of both stations is anticipated by the end of 2014, in time for the agreement to go into effect Jan. 1. Lannon will then close its current fire station and operate out of new Station No. 1.

Dated 4/1/1968 - Waukesha Freeman

August 20, 1981 - Milwaukee Journal



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