Services > Fire
The Wheeling Fire Department was founded in 1896, two years after the formal incorporation of the Village of Wheeling. At the time, most of the buildings and sidewalks in the community were constructed of wood. Lighting was provided by kerosene lamps and heating was provided by wood or coal burning stoves.
The first fire prevention code of the community dealt with the required method of storing bulk kerosene, as well as the proper method of disposing of coal ash.
The Fire Department began as a volunteer
organization under the direction of Fire Chief Christ Uetz, who
served until 1898. In the first few years, the Fire Department
provided very basic fire suppression services by forming a
bucket brigade. In 1904, the first piece of fire apparatus was
purchased - a hand pulled, manual pumper. This piece of
equipment is currently on display at Fire Station 24 (499 South
From 1896 through 1959, the Fire Department
was comprised of all volunteer personnel. In 1960, the Village
began paying each member of the Fire Department one dollar for
each call they made and personnel became known as
"Paid-on-Call". In 1969, Bernhardt Koeppen became the
first full-time Fire Chief employed by the Village and soon
additional full-time personnel were added to meet the growing
demands for service. In 1972, the Fire Department, in
conjunction with 5 other area fire departments, joined with
Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois to
create the nation's first recognized "Paramedic"