The Grand Chute Town Board authorized the formation of a volunteer fire department at their annual town meeting on April 6, 1937. In July, 1937, the Town of Grand Chute approved the purchase one fire truck. It was purchased for $3,500 from the Rural Fire Apparatus Company, Inc., Hortonville. This 1937 Ford Pumper was delivered in October, 1937 and was kept at the Van Dyke Coal Company. It was at this time, the Town Chairman, Emmett O”Connor revealed that a volunteer department would be organized to man the truck.
The department was officially organized on October 28, 1937 by a group of seven townsmen
with Bill Van Dyke leading the group as president of what became known as the Grand Chute Firefighters Association. Operation was carried out from various rented garages within the Town, near the city limits of Appleton. (In 1937 the rental rate for housing the fire truck was $1 per day, and increased to $40 per month in 1938, an up to $90 per month in 1949). A siren purchased for $230 was used to alert the volunteers to respond to fire calls. Members or their wives also utilized call chain or phone tree to alert volunteers.
Additional water was transported to fires by a group of three townsmen using their own trucks and ten gallon milk cans, which were dumped into the pumper’s water tank. The department operated in this manner until the late 1940’s when they began using a 2,800 gallon tank semi trailer owned by Western Condensing Company in Appleton.
In 1950, the 19th and 20th wards (Bell Heights and Whispering Pines) were annexed into the City of Appleton. With this annexation, a majority of volunteer firefighters became City of Appleton residents. Gordon Schultz was the Fire Chief at that time and remained with the department. There were approximately twenty five townsmen interested in a reorganization of the department and a new town hall and fire Station was built at 502 West Northland Avenue. These men were paid $1.50 for the first hour and $1 for each succeeding hour.
Additional firefighters, equipment and the upgrading of training programs were implemented. A second fire station was built in 1976 at 2920 West Highview Drive. That station remained in service through 2015 as Station #2.