ANTONIA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
By: Bill Haggard
On November 28, 1952, a group of concerned townspeople met to discuss the formation of a fire department in Antonia. A motion was made to call the organization “The Antonia Community Fire Association” and a decision was made to sell fire tags to help raise money for the purchase of a building and equipment. By July 1953, through donations and fundraisers such as turkey shoots, picnics and the sale of fire tags, a group of volunteers were able to raise enough funds to purchase the first fire truck. In October of 1953, construction started on a 28’ X 34’ firehouse and on December 24, 1953, the association took delivery of its first fire truck and officially became a fire department.
As time progressed, it was evident that
all volunteer fire department could no longer survive on donations, fundraisers
and the sale of fire tags. In 1968, enabling legislation was passed by the
In 1970, the people of the Rock
Community area and the High Ridge area went to their voters and established the
first fire protection districts in
On January 3, 1974, the first meeting of
the volunteer board was held to begin the establishment of a fire protection
district. Attorney Jerry Weber was contacted to set the permanent boundaries
and to complete the blank application for circulation of signatures of the
townspeople. The Circuit Court of
The revenue from the 30 cent tax levied in 1974 resulted in $39,000.00 for the fire district. Today, the $1.15 tax levy and the half cent sales tax results in $2,279,069.00 annually for the operation of the fire district. In 1974, the district ran 110 emergency calls and in 2010, the fire district ran 1,076 calls.
In April of 1976, Ambrose “Sonny” Wingbermuehle was appointed Fire Chief of the Antonia Fire Protection District. He served as Fire Chief until January 1, 2000, when he retired from the district. John Newsome was appointed as Fire Chief by the Board of Directors and continues to serve in that capacity in 2011.
In 1978, the fire district expanded the
original fire station and completely remodeled the exterior of the building.
These improvements were completed on property that was leased from the Arthur
and Elmer Heligtag families under a 100 year lease. On December 31, 1985, the
Heligtag families donated the entire intersection of
Today, the Antonia Fire Protection
District has three fire stations with 19 paid personnel, 30 volunteers, 30
search team volunteers and 6 auxiliary personnel. The district is governed by three elected
directors: President Cliff W. Lewis, Treasurer Frances A. Newkirk and Director