Fire Office Location:
906 Cyclone Avenue
Harlan, IA 51537
Roger Bissen, Fire Chief
Harlan has one of the best Volunteer Fire Departments in Southwest Iowa.
In existence since 1881, it has a long history of dedicated fire fighters and paramedics that
have minimized property damage and saved lives for many years with their heroic efforts.
|The Harlan Volunteer Fire Department received the Iowa Firefighters Association “Outstanding Department Award”; in essence the Fire Department of the Year for the State of Iowa. The department was nominated by Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees with this letter to the Iowa Firefighters Association.|
I would like to nominate the Harlan Fire Department for Iowa Fire Department of the Year for 2015. The Harlan Fire Department is well respected, well trained and a great example of Iowa’s fire service.
The 30 member department responds to a variety of emergencies within their district, county, region, state and at the national level. In addition to responding to fire calls, the department is a leader for Haz-Mat response in their Tri-County Haz-Mat response area. They have responded to a variety of rescue incidents ranging from ice & water rescue, grain bin rescue, vehicle extrication and extrication saw response to severe weather incidents. The department is also trained in swift water rescue and high angle rope rescue. They continue to train members and instructors alike.
While the department responds to wild land fires and natural disasters within its district, they have sent members nationwide for response to wildfires in California, Oregon and Alaska, and have had team members respond to natural disasters in Iowa and to hurricane response in New York.
The department also has one of the few honor guards in the state and has provided their service when requested for many events and firefighter visitations and funerals. Their unselfish devotion to honoring fellow firefighters does not go unnoticed, and is a touching show of respect to the departed firefighters and their families.
The Harlan Fire Department works within their community for fire prevention and education, and in support of community events. They are a great asset not only for their local community and region, but for the state and nation as well.
The Harlan Fire Department is also an active member of the Iowa Firefighters Association. They are deserving of consideration for recognition as the IFA Fire Department of the Year, and I am pleased to make their nomination.
Chief Mark McNees,
Atlantic Fire Department
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Harlan Fire Department contact Chief Bissen
|2nd Asst. Chief|
The Harlan Fire Department held their first meeting on February 5, 1881. At that time the meetings were held annually. On February 10th of the same year different companies were formed. The Engine Co. with O. Graves as foreman, Hook and Ladder Co. with D. Chase in charge and O. Pearson in charge of the Hose Co. The first fire was June 18th, 1881 at a billiard hall on Market St., which was struck by lightning. Luckily there was only minimal damage. The first major expense of the Department was in 1885 with the purchase of a new used Silsby Steam Pumper. It was acquired from Silsby Manufacturing for a cost of $2000.00 with $500.00 down and with payments of $500.00 per year for the following 3 years at an interest rate of 6%. It is stated in the meeting minutes that this fine machine was named James M. long after one of the pioneers of Harlan. It also stated that “it took place of the windmill it giving an almost inexhaustible supply of water and that it won’t blow down as the windmill has in the past but it could blow up though they could not tell.”