In 1907, the residents of East Troy realized the need for organized Fire Protection. On May 27, 1907, the East Troy Fire Department was officially organized with 26 Charter Members. They were: Oscar Besch, Wayne Canright, Laurence Clancy, J.P. Chaffin, Walter Dickerman, Kirke Dickerman, James Donnelly, Charles Duncan, J.F. Ebert, Ollie Ebert, F.H. Gilbert, Dr. W.L. Hassold, Al Karnarth, O.R. Kurzork, R.J. Lacy, Ray Lacy, O.H. Marshall, S.E. Marshall, B.F. Meyers, Thomas O' Connor, Edward B. Rohleder, B.F. Schwartz, G.E. Schwartz, Herman Wendt and Chas. H. Zinn.
Regular monthly meetings were set for the 2nd Monday of each month in April 1916. The Fireman's Picnic is held each year in July. The fireman's Banquet is held each April and the Fire Dept. Street Dance is held in August. In 1923, The East Troy Rescue Squad was formed. They started out using the car of whomever came first to the call and later acquired a Packard as a Rescue Squad. This served until 1952 when a GM truck was purchased and outfitted as a Rescue Equipment Truck.
The Fire Dept. started with a horse cart and the ringing of the church bell to sound a fire alarm. In 1918, a chain was installed to the bell so that the bell rope would not be broken. July 29, 1948, at a grass fire at theTriangle Sportsmen's Club, Joseph Harter was overcome by smoke and later died. To date, he is the only East Troy Firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty.
If there was ever a time for the Christmas spirit to show up, Christmas Eve was it as East Troy and area fireman were helped by community members while they were fighting a major downtown blaze. During the fire, over two hundred firefighters and rescue personnel participated in the morning battle. And that doesn't include the hosts of angels in the guise of volunteers and donators who kept the firefighters going. The 12:45 a.m. fire couldn't have happened on a colder morning as temperatures plummeted to near record lows of 15 degrees below zero and the wind chill temperatures dropped to below minus 60 degrees. The size of the fire brought in Troy Center, Mukwonago and Elkhorn fire departments for immediate assistance. By the time the fire was brought under control after dawn, 14 other departments were called for manpower and equipment to replace those worn out by the cold weather. Damage to the two story structure, owned by James Manderfeld, East Troy, is considered extensive at this time, East Troy police said. There was damage to the second floor apartment and businesses in the lower portion of the building including Johannesen-Farrar Insurance, Tripco Travel, and Charlie's Barber Shop. Also damaged was a small adjoining building housing Mitch's Barber shop. None of the buildings was occupied at the time of the fire, the police said.
The cause is sill under investigation. The fire was noticed at 12:45 a.m. by police officers Jim Kelter and Robert Javorek who then summoned help and evacuated next door bars and apartments on the north side in the buildings on the square, according to the Assistant Police Chief Dave Fox. Assistance for additional firemen from Mukwonago, LaGrange, Lake Geneva, and Elkhorn. Aerial ladders from those departments summoned enrout to the fire by East Troy fireman Wayne Klett. Fire chief don Pluess said, "He was using his head. Getting the aerials in may have saved the buildings on the north side of the square. As the early morning wore on, more help was called from Lyons, Williams Bay, Delavan, Rochester, the town of Bloomfield, the town of Linn, Genoa City, Eagle, Tichigan, Wind Lake, and North Prairie. There were also other fire departments standing by, said ETFD secretary Robert Barutha. Fire to the structure was contained by three or four a.m. according to members of the E.T.F.D., but it was far from out. A persistent fierce fire was still raging above Mitch's Barber Shop.
Fire officials cautiously assumed it was a leaking gas line, until a few hours later when the gas company showed up to turn off the gas. It was decided to keep the fire going instead of putting it out which could put raw gas in the building , creating an explosive condition. The firemen also decided not to turn off the gas at a main line so as not to turn off furnaces in the area. As it was, power was cut for some areas for nearly an hour. Firemen later found that roofing tar and asphalt melted and formed a pool which burned like natural gas. "It was a lot to worry about," O'Leary said. The wind, although cold and fierce, may have helped save other buildings on the square coming from northwest, the smoke was blown to ground level across the square. According to Doris Jensen and Carole Worrall, store owners on the north side, the snow cover on top put out the embers that blew that way. At the beginning of the fire, the smoke from the fire was so thick, that a reporter who started to walk across the square lost sight of is feet in five paces. It was the dense smoke and cold winds that created the most problems for the firemen and set up the remarkable first aid stations at the Village Hall, Masonic Lodge, and OK Hardware. Fifteen firemen were taken to the Lakeland Hospital and Burlington Hospital for treatment of frostbite and smoke inhalation. By Two o'clock, the village hall was opened by wives of the firemen and other concerned citizens who served food and carved firemen out of the hats, gloves and jackets that were covered with half an inch of ice.
In 1991, The East Troy Area Emergency Services District was formed and the Fire Department and Rescue Squad were combined to form The East Troy Area Emergency Services.
Today East Troy Fire and Rescue Department has a roster of 39 active firefighters and 25 rescue personel. Meetings are still the 2nd Monday with fire practice on the 3rd Monday of the Month. Along with EMS practice is on the 4th Monday of the month.