The Zilwaukee Police Department is committed to providing professional Law Enforcement services, accountable to our community we serve and protect. To provide services for the protection of life and property, against violence, disorder and loss, while upholding the rights of all persons. We will enforce all laws and ordinances fairly and equitably. We are committed to the communities needs and will strive to maintain channels of communication between the community and ourselves.
The City maintains an on-call, 14 member all volunteer based Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Matthew Rivette. The City Fire Department provides a full range of services including public education and CPR training, school fire awareness program, ice rescue, grass fire suppression, vehicle extraction and fire suppression, initial hazardous material spill response, as well as residential and commercial building related to fire suppression.
The City Fire Department also provides mutual aid to suburban residents in Kochville, Carrollton, and Buena Vista township, as well as rural residents in Frankenlust Township in Bay County.
The City Fire Department’s first due response service area includes a total of approximately 12 square miles. In addition the City Fire Department provides critical contract fire suppression and related services for the rural residents of Zilwaukee Township.
Zilwaukee Fire Department History
The original fire fighting volunteers of Zilwaukee began in the early 1940s and was known as the “Hose Cart Brigade.” These hose carts were housed in shed-like buildings in various parts of town.
When a fire occured, Clarence “Butch” Timm was notified and was responsible for ringing the St. John’s Church bell. Volunteers were informed by telephone or word-of-mouth of the location of the fire and to report to their assigned hose cart. These hose carts were pulled and pushed by hand and operated solely on hydrant pressure.
In 1947, the City of Saginaw presented Zilwaukee Township with the annual contract for fire protection. Conditions of the contract remained the same with one exception – the price. The cost had increased more than 50 percent.
Claude Meehleder, Zilwaukee Township Supervisor at the time, took the matter in hand and explored the possibility of forming a volunteer fire department. Being a local businessman, it put him in contact with many civic-minded people who shared his feelings. With overwhelming support of the community, the governing body of the township elected not to renew the contract with Saginaw.
An organizational meeting was held on April 25, 1947, and a list of 76 potential firemen was presented. The first-ever meeting of the Zilwaukee Volunteer Fire Department was called to order on April 28, 1948. Accepting the office of Chief was John Jarema. Joe LaBrash was named assistant chief, while Leslie Dunbar and Oliver Westendorf were captains, while Lawrence Howland, Peter Metiva, Earl Comstock and Fred Dammann were lieutenants, and Glen Bauer was named secretary/treasurer.
On June 3, 1948, the siren tower was constructed by Oliver Westendorf and wired by Gerald Banning. The new telephone fire call number was 6558. The first Fire Department Open House was held July 4, 1948. The first Firemen and Wives Party was held one week later. Until he passed away in 2017, Stanley Metiva was the only surviving member of the original Zilwaukee Volunteer Fire Department. The first Firemen’s Ball was held February 27, 1949. The financial state is as follows:
Orchestra – $55.00 Ticket Sales – $582.75
Deputy Sheriff – $5.00 Kitchen – $97.73
Door Prize – $50.00
Refreshments – $3.32 Total Profit – $567.16
CITY OF ZILWAUKEE FIRE CHIEFS
John Jarema 1948 to 1950
Joseph LaBrash 1950 to 1967
Howard Luplow 1967 to 1975
Jack Dammann 1975 to 1985
Thomas Waters 1985 to 1990
Douglas Luplow 1990 to 2007
Michael Bauer 2007 to 2010
David Metiva 2010 to 2013
Don Raacsh 2013 to 2018
Matt Rivette 2018 to Present
To quote former Cheif Joe LaBrash “If you need us, we’ll be there”. This same statement holds true today.
Volunteer Firefighters Needed!
Apply at City Hall