In early 1957, it was decided a bigger,
faster pumper truck was needed to replace the little Model AA Ford. An
International military surplus 2-ton chassis was purchased and once again, Polar
Manufacturing was contracted to build the body. This truck was fitted with a
mid-ship pump and a live-line hose reel. The Model AA truck was then sold for
$350, to Ben Hoague, a fire equipment dealer in Onamia, MN.
On February 19, 1958, a team of auxiliary
Firemen was named to serve in case of disaster. The men were: Firmin Pogatshnick,
Clarence Pilarski, Jerome Supan, Gerald Trobec, William Peternell, Leroy Supan,
the late Fr. Edwin Omann and the late Joe L. Omann.
In 1962, a mutual aid agreement was
executed with the Rice Fire Department. At the present time, the St. Stephen
Department is a member of the Central Minnesota Mutual Aid Association, which
included the Departments of Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Rice, Cold Spring, St. Joseph,
St. John's, Waite Park, St. Cloud, Avon, Rockville, Clearwater and Clear Lake.
In addition, the Department also has a mutual aid agreement with the Holdingford
In 1966, the Department did away with the
subscription method of funding and began again contracting with the townships of
Brockway and St. Wendel to obtain operating funds, in addition to money received
from the city of St. Stephen. This gave the Department a more dependable source
of income, as well as more of it, which was needed to keep the equipment
up-to-date and effective.
In 1969, an addition to the fire hall was
built, doubling the size of the apparatus bay. In addition, a new John Bean
high-pressure pumper on a Ford F750 chassis was purchased, giving the Department
much better firefighting capabilities. This truck was equipped with a two-way
radio and the base station used to communicate with it was that of Trobec's Bus
Service, which was located in the office of Chief, Joe Trobec's Bar. Through the
years, as each additional truck was purchased, it was also equipped with a
At about this time, the first set of
portable two-way radios were purchased. These are used for communication on the
fire grounds and to communicate with the ambulance service, and if necessary,
with the hospital in medical and rescue situations. All of the officers carry
one of these at all times, to be in immediate communication with the County
dispatcher in the event of a call.
Also in 1969, upon the resignation of the
original Assistant Chief, John Vouk, Ray Trobec was elected to fill this
(Update: 2005) The fire department replaced these Air-Packs (SCBAs) with 26 new models. See 2004.