Fire Protection District

Our family protecting yours.....since 1931

In 1836, settlers would arrive to the area and build their first home about 3 ½ miles northeast of the current village. After the small community of Henpeck began to grow, the settlers realized they needed to be closer to the Chicago-Pacific Railroad in order for the town to grow.

After the move to what is now the village, the community began to experience growing pains such as a lack of fire protection. There were numerous fires over the next couple of years that would devastate many homes and businesses. In 1920, a fire completely destroyed the J.F. Farney Bakery, which was located near where the Rose Garden Restaurant is today. Afterwards, there was a push for a fire department, but it never took hold.         

On Sunday September 9, 1929, a fire broke out downtown Hampshire that would that would change the course of history. The fire started in the back of the Hampshire Market, which is where Dreymiller & Kray is today. Coincidently, the village water pump had been broken and was in the process of being repairs, so there was no water.

The Elgin Fire Department would refuse to respond and assist the Village of Hampshire. Help would eventually come from the Sycamore Fire Department and the Genoa-Kingston Fire Protection District. The fire would inevitably burn from where Chiro-One Chiropractors is, down to Randy’s Gas Pumps on Rinn Avenue. The villagers would form bucket brigades to help protect other nearby structures.

In the end, nine buildings had been destroyed causing over $50,000 in damage at the time. People from the village got together to help form a fire department. Equipment was obtained and was stored where the current village hall sits. The first piece of apparatus was purchased for $3,200 and was a Peter Pirsch Combination Pumper with a booster tank and hose. In February of 1931, the fire department would become official.

In 1961, the Hampshire Fire Department would become a Fire District which would allow for the levy of taxes and move them to a compensated entity. In 1962, the first tax funds were received and were used to build the current fire station at 202 Washington Avenue.

On August 1, 1974 the District began providing emergency medical services. The first female to join the District was Laura Ulrich in the 1980’s. Kathleen Randecker was hired in 1992 as the first full-time paramedic of the District. In June of 1995, Trevor Herrmann was hired as the first full-time firefighter / paramedic.

The station would be staffed Monday-Saturday from 0500 – 1820 hours. In the evenings and on Sundays, firefighters would respond from home using an “on-call” schedule. On January 21, 2007, the District would switch to staffing the fire station 24 hours a day.

Ernest Gustafson

1931 - 1948

Herman N. Petersen

1948 - 1961

Walter Carlson

1961 - 1975

Donald Oranger

1975 - 1981

Wayne Siegmann

1981 - 1995

Peter Wilcox

1995 - 2004

Curtis Kramer

2004 - 2012

William Robinson

2012 - 2020

Trevor Herrmann

2020 - Present

Charter Members 

Chief Ernest Gustafson
Chief Herman N. Petersen
Frank Herrmann

Walter Voight
Fred Petersen

Walter Carlson
Ralph Getzelman
Ronald Fredrick
John W. Herrmann

Harry Treman
Lynn Bird

Jay Morning
Walter Wilkens

Herbert G. Warrington
Sidney Eichler

W.H. Klick
Clarence Holze

Harry Fairchild
Grant Melms
Ted Irving
Clark Melms
Joseph Fitzpatrick

George Wilcox

Julius Mathis

Severin “Sev” DuMoulin

Past Fire Chiefs