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New Baden Fire Protection District Firefighters

The fire department in New Baden has made a lot of changes though the years. It all started on April 28, 1903 when the New Baden Fire Company #1 (membership) was chartered by the State Of Illinois. Due to the lack of records at the Fire House in New Baden there is no written information except pictures that have been found. These pictures hang in the fire house meeting room. Written records started in January of 1936 when the fire department was reorganized and held election of officers. These officers were President Alphouse Poelker, Vice President Francis Gramm, Secretary George Gramm, Treasurer Ted Harpstrite, Chief Leroy Brede, Assistant Chief Rolly Hertenstein and the following members Arnold Heinzmann, Louis Lodes, Walter Hass, Abe Davis, John Billhartz Jr., Charles Mank, Albert Strake, Henry Sindt and Chester Fulkerson. These members had a firemen’s picnic, dinners, and other activities to raise money for equipment. The membership belonged to the Egyptian Fire Fighter’s Association at the cost of $2.00 per year.

In July 1945 membership was raised from 20 to 25 members. In 1946 the membership joined the Bi-County Firemen’s Association. In 1949 there was 4 pieces of equipment that was purchased a hose cart, Republic Truck, International Truck, and a Ford Truck which was new. 

New Baden Fire Protection District was formed in 1952. The district included the city of New Baden and the territory comprising the current Clin-Clair Fire Protection District (Clin-Clair).  Clin-Clair's territory includes the communities of Albers, Damiansville, New Memphis and their surrounding areas, and the area surrounding the city of New Baden.  

Initially, all fire equipment was housed in the corporate limits of New Baden.   

In 1953 the New Baden Fire Department purchased a new fire truck from Central Fire Apparatus. In 1954, the Albers Commercial Club purchased a portable pump, hose, and couplers from Lang and Manning in St. Louis, MO.  The equipment's price tag was $1,200.00. A tow behind trailer was also purchased. The trailer's hitch could accommodate any bumper to allow the equipment to be pulled by any vehicle. The equipment was housed in the coal shed behind the Peoples Bank of Albers. 

In April of 1956, Albers Commercial Club created a committee whose purpose was to find a suitable site for a new firehouse.  The appointed committee members were Vince Tonnies, Arnie Huegen, and Anton Budde. In May of 1956, the committee reported their choice at a special meeting. The "L" shaped piece of land selected for the site of the new firehouse was located on the corner of Dwight and Bertha Streets. The Commercial Club purchased the plot of land from Katherine Netemeyer for $800.  The Commercial Club then donated the land to the Village of Albers. It also donated money toward the cost of building the new City Hall and Firehouse on the purchased land. The City Hall and Firehouse was completed in 1957.  A few years after the completion of the Albers Firehouse, a 1949 Ford was handed down from New Baden Fire Department, became Albers Fire Department's first fire truck.

In the early 1960's, New Baden Fire Department decided it would be in their best interest to pull out of the New Baden Fire Protection District and become a city department. To allow this to happen, they had to convince a judge that there would be no adverse affect on the remaining part of the New Baden Fire Protection District, which is currently the Clin-Clair Fire Protection District. New Baden assured the judge that they would continue to offer their assistance to fire protection needs as before, so the judge allowed New Baden to separate from the district. Even though New Baden became a City Department, the New Baden Fire Protection District still existed, but excluded the city limits of New Baden. Albers Fire Department was the only department within the New Baden Fire Protection District.

 In 1965, Ordinance 29 came into effect which thereby renamed the New Baden Fire Protection District to the Clin-Clair Fire Protection District. (Click here to see the legal documents of ordinance 29) The original Clin-Clair Fire Protection District trustees were Earl Gildig and Lester Stumpf of New Baden and Vincent Tonnies of Albers.

Also, in 1965, Clin-Clair Fire Protection District purchased their first fire truck at a cost of $13,146. It was a 1964 Ford chassis with a 1000 GPM pump.  

In 1965 a new fire house was build in the City of New Baden. Also the department went to fire phones which rang for 3 minutes or until answered. After the phone was answered a member would then ring a siren that sat in the middle of New Baden.  

In 1973, Clin-Clair Fire Protection District purchased an International chassis truck with a 1000 GPM pump. This 1973 Engine was housed at the New Baden Firehouse and used on rural fires or as New Baden Fire Department deemed necessary for city use. As the 1973 International Engine was housed at the New Baden Fire Station, a 1958 Chevy pumper was given to the Albers Fire Department by New Baden Fire district. With the arrival of this truck, the 1949 Ford was sold.  

In 1977 a Chevy fire truck was purchased from Howe fire Apparatus Inc.

In the 1980’s as fire fighting changed, air packs, pages and other equipment were purchased. In the early 1990’s the membership of the New Baden Fire Department purchased a 1968 Peter Pirsch from the O’fallon Fire Department. The membership performed an complete overhaul on this apparatus and after completion this unit became a front line rescue/pumper.

Also in the mid 1990’s the membership purchased a 3200 gallon International tanker from the O’fallon Fire Department.  

In 2001 the Village of New Baden purchased a 2001 Pierce Custom Saber Rescue/Pumper, which replaced the 1968 Peter Pircsh as the first out front line pumper.

In 2005 the membership along with the Village of New Baden applied for a FEMA Grant and received money to purchase a 2005 E-One Typoon Custom Pump.  

In 2007 the Village of New Baden along with the membership of the New Baden Fire Department decided that change needed to be made and the village removed itself from the fire protection service and the New Baden Fire Protection District was formed. As a fire protection district needed tax money could be generated to provide the public up to date fire protection. In 2009 the Fire Protection District applied for another FEMA Grant and received money to update all SCBA’s used.

In 2010 the fire protection district purchase a new Freightliner tanker.