Excelsior Fire District is in partnership with Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood and Tonka Bay.
Please visit the Excelsior Fire District website listed above for further information regarding fire prevention tips and upcoming events as well as further contact information.
EXCELSIOR FIRE DISTRICT
The mission of the Excelsior Fire District is to protect and enhance the quality of life of those who live, work and play within our community. This mission is achieved through fire suppression, emergency medical services, fire prevention, community awareness, hazardous material mitigation and disaster response.
Inspection / Prevention Program
The District inspection / prevention program is a foundational component to the fire district. The inspection program provides fire inspections, safety reviews, plan reviews, and code enforcement to minimize fire and safety concerns in the business areas within the five-member communities. The inspection program also conducts fire investigations after a fire loss.
The District is a paid on-call (or as it is more commonly called, a “volunteer”) fire department. It is one of the oldest fire departments in Minnesota, forming well over 100 years ago. The District has a rich tradition of professional service, dedicated membership and devoted service to the community.
The Department began in 1882 with the first “firefighters” comprised of owners of wagons and horses, which were essential tools in fighting fires in those days. In 1887, the Village of Excelsior installed six 150 gallon cisterns located strategically throughout the town. There barrels served as critical water supplies in the early days of firefighting. In 1892 and 1893, the newly organized Fire Department became fully operational after purchasing paper pails, 5 ladders, fire hooks, ropes and its first fire truck. At that time, firefighters were notified of a fire by the ringing of church bells. A year later, a hand-rung bell was installed. In 1923, the Department mounted a siren atop City Hall, a version of which still exists today. In 1957, the Department moved into its first fire station.
The District has had its share of major fires over its history. In the early years, the large tourist hotels along the shores of Lake Minnetonka served as a constant challenge to the Department’s fire suppression capabilities. In 1973, the Excelsior Danceland Music Hall burned to the ground. Because the Danceland had passed its prime when it hosted such musical acts as the Rolling Stones, it was not rebuilt. In 1984, the Department battled a huge blaze in Tonka Bay, effecting 5 businesses. Just 15 years later in 1999, the Department again battled one of its largest fires at the hardware store and the apartments above it. Given the challenges of the lakes in its district and the ever changing weather conditions in the State, the Department is constantly training for a variety of incidents and conditions.
The Department has been an active partner in supporting the communities it serves. The annual street dance continues a history of fundraising that includes past Fireman’s Balls, festivals and smelt fry’s. The Department also holds fire prevention activities at the Station and in local schools. The Department also sponsors a free Christmas movies each year while raising donations for the local food shelf. The Department routinely volunteers its time to numerous community events, neighborhood gatherings and civic activities and fundraisers.
The dawn of a new century brought a number of major changes to the Department as well. In 2002, the Excelsior Fire Department changed to the Excelsior Fire District, which emerged from the signing of a joint powers agreement vesting ownership of the District in each of the five cities it serves. Over the course of the last five years, the District constructed two new stations, hired its first full-time chief and added new equipment and technology that has prepared it for the future of firefighting. A long and distinguished history indeed!
For more information on the Excelsior Fire District, please to to www.excelsiorfire.org.