The Town of Menasha Fire Department originated in 1938 and was a combined department with the Town of Neenah. The departments were staffed by a total volunteer service with fire suppression being the primary mission and focus.

In 1980, the Town of Menasha and the Town of Neenah fire departments separated. Fire Station #1 was located at 1000 Valley Road along with the Police Department and Town Administrative Offices.  After the separation, the Town of Menasha built Fire Station #2 west of Little Lake Buttes Morts at 1326 Cold Spring Road. Both stations were staffed, equipped and supported equally with dual response (both stations) to all emergency incidents in the Town of Menasha.

In 1987, with service demands expanding and staffing/training becoming an issue, the first full-time Fire Chief was hired. Firefighters were compensated for some of their services related to incident response and training. The department was now classified as a “Combination” fire department with paid-on-call firefighters. During this time there were 50 paid-on-call staff members with 25 firefighters staffing each fire station. There was an established county-wide mutual aid agreement as well as agreements with neighboring fire departments in adjacent counties. The first full-time Administrative Assistant was hired in 1988 to manage office duties and record keeping.

In 1997, the fire department began responding to medical calls as First Responders. This was a service formally provided by the town police department. By this time, fire calls were averaging over 225 per year with EMS calls averaging over 500 per year. Fire stations throughout the county were renumbered to develop uniformity for improved identification and communication. Town of Menasha Fire Stations were now numbered Station #40 and Station #41.

In 2000, the fire department identified the need for a position that had authority to make administrative decisions in the absence of the Fire Chief. The Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal position was created with new personnel hired to fill the position. The Town of Menasha Fire Department became the first combination fire department in the State of Wisconsin to become accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. History was made when the fire department hired its first full-time firefighter to assist with the community’s growing demand for services and inspections.

In 2003, the amount of traffic in the area and the number of vehicle accident responses continue to increase justifying the need for a rescue vehicle.  The fire department Administrative Assistant/Public Educator was trained and the department started to offer child safety seat checks as a public service to the community.

In November of 2005 the fire department entered into its first automatic aid agreement with the Town of Grand Chute Fire Department. The agreement was for structure fires within a certain geographic area within the two communities, Grand Chute Fire Department was dispatched along with our department to these calls.

In 2006, the fire department hired its first full-time Division Chief of Training.  This decision was made due to the increased demand for training by the firefighters as well as the increased requirements from local and federal government in regard to standards, mandates, etc.

Also in 2006, the town voters passed a vote to renovate both fire stations. Work began in June to add office space, shower and locker rooms, a day room, sleeping quarters, and an exercise room to each station. Station 40 also added two new apparatus bays.

We entered into our second automatic aid agreement with the Town of Neenah Fire Department in 2007. The agreement is for any structure fires within a certain geographic area within the two communities. Town of Neenah Fire is dispatched along with our department to these calls.

As new requirements from the DNR on clean storm water runoff came, the town began putting in several new retention/detention ponds, some in residential neighborhoods. Due to the increased risk of a possible ice/water rescue incident, the fire department decided to provide ice and water rescue services. In 2011 the department was outfitted and trained in ice and water rescue and began offering that service to the community.

In 2013, Winnebago County implement MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) to streamline the process of getting mutual aid resources to emergency scenes. All departments completed “box cards” indicating what additional resources were needed in each part of their municipality. The 911 communication center utilizes these cards to dispatch the requested resources. Winnebago County is known as Division 123 in Wisconsin’s MABAS system.

In 2015 the fire department reorganized. The organizational structure was changed. The full time positions include a Fire Chief, Assistant Chief of Operations, Division Chief of Training, Fire Marshal, and Fire Prevention Educator. The department hired eight part-time firefighters and began staffing both fire stations from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday – Friday.

In the fall of 2016, the Town of Menasha incorporated into the Village of Fox Crossing and the Fox Crossing Fire Department was born.

In 2019, the department applied for a federal grant for staffing and was successful in obtaining the grant.  In January 2020, the department began staffing an engine around the clock at Station 40 with Part Time and Paid-On-Call Firefighters.

Today the department is staffed with five full time, twenty part time, and forty six paid-on-call members when we are at full staff.