On October 3, 1950 a meeting was held to form the first volunteer fire department in the Village of Wembley. This prompted by a major fire in the Town two weeks previous.
In 1951 the Village of Wembley spent $1,400.00 to purchase equipment (reels, hoses and chemical wagon)
August 30, 1952 the contract for construction of the first fire hall was awarded to Orville Jensen for $710.00. This consisted of and underground reservoir beneath a 16'x24' building. Half of the building was used for the fire hall and the remaining half was to be the municipal office; however the municipal office never moved into that location. In later years, the building was used for a library and grocery store before being sold to Gerald Cameron and moved to his farm north of Wembley.
In 1957 a building was constructed on the site of the present (1994) fire hall to house not only the fire hall but also the water well and the municipal office. This building was constructed by L.Frantzen at a cost of $8,200.00.
In 1960 a vote was taken by the ratepayers regarding purchasing a used fire truck for $1,500.00; this vote was defeated and the purchase was cancelled.
1963, the County of Grande Prairie No.1 loaned the Village a fire truck; in exchange the Village signed an agreement that they would attend any fires in the surround area. This made necessary the installation of the first 3 fire phones to answer calls.
In 1964 a new 1965 model Dodge fire truck was purchased for $8,645.00 from Saskatoon Fire Engine Co. and was driven to Wembley from Saskatchewan by the Village foreman. (purchase included 4 sets of bunker gear total price paid was $8,885.00)
Two more truck bays were added to the existing fire hall in 1977, by Harold VanderVeen at a cost of $15,500.00.
The need for more space for both the municipal office and the fire department prompted the construction of a municipal office building (9940-100St) in 1978, leaving only the fire department and water well in the building located at 9928 100 Street in downtown Wembley.
In 1982 the County of Grande Prairie No.1 replaced the old fire truck with the new one housed in the hall (Engine 3). This fire truck was used for all highway and rural fires and by our agreement with the County may be used as a backup unit for the Town.
In 1987 Council hired GPEC Consulting to do an appraisal of the existing fire hall building to determine what portion should remain - only the 2 bays built in 1977 could be salvaged. Over the next two years designs were submitted and revised several times before the job went to tender. In May1989 the contract was awarded to K.Shaw & Sons Contracting Ltd. The total cost of the building was approx. $300,000.00 this new fire hall was financed through a provincially funded AMPLE Grant of $79,400.00 and the reserves which had been accumulating for several years in the amount of $220,600.00. Residents of the Town of Wembley now had a fire hall complete with training and office space which is clear of all debt.
In 1990 a second fire truck, a 1969 GMC was purchased by the Town for $21,000.00 this unit had previously belonged to the City of Grande Prairie and greatly increased the capabilities of the Wembley Fire Department.
In 1997 the County of Grande Prairie No.1 added a new pumper (Engine 12) to the hall to replace Engine 3. It was then negotiated that Engine 3 was to remain in the Wembley Fire Hall to act as a back up and water support unit.
In December of 2001 the department trained their first 8 MCR's (medical co-responders) to assist Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Medical Services (GPREMS) with ambulance calls in the region. It took several months to get the MCR program up and running after that. In May of 2002 the Wembley MCR's started responding to calls within the Town of Wembley and in October of 2002 within the Wembley Fire Departments response area in the County of Grande Prairie No.1.
July of 2002 the Fire Department purchased a 1993 Chevy Astro Van for $3,000.00 to serve as the Medical Co-Response (MCR) vehicle. Lonnie's Auto Body donated the paint job, Conoco Phillips Canada donated a Motorola radio, we installed an older set of lights and a siren that we had in the hall; and it became FM 1 (Fire, Medical One).
In the fall of 2003, the Town of Wembley purchased a new Freightliner Fire Truck from Phoenix Emergency Vehicles in Red Deer for $178,000.00 this purchase was made from Town Fire Truck Reserves and a debenture was taken out for this purchase and amortized over 20 years. This truck replaced the 1969 GMC Fire Truck previously housed in the hall.
During 2006 the upstairs training area of the fire hall was renovated to better utilize the space and update it. The old dispatch area was removed and computer work stations were added as well as new flooring and painting.
In the winter of 2006 the Fire Department purchased a 2000 Freightliner Rescue Unit from Rocky Mountain Phoenix for $71,600.00. This vehicle was originally used by the Orlando Florida Fire Department as a Rescue Ambulance. The Fire Department put $30,000.00 of its own money (received through fundraising efforts) towards the purchase the remainder of the funds came from the Town reserves. This truck replaced 1974 mini bus conversion.
After the purchase of the Rescue truck in 2006, an aggressive fundraising campaign was launched, and by mid summer of 2007 we had purchased a used set of Holmatro Rescue Tools from ShadowHAWK Inc for $13,500.00. As well as new lifting bags and all the accessories; to give the department, for the first time a fully functional Rescue Truck. In total about $30,000.00 was raised by the department members and was spent equipping the truck.
In 2008 the Fire Department fundraised for and purchased an MSA Thermo Imaging Camera for the department; its cost was just over $12,000.00 including the image capturing device. This camera allows fire fighter's the ability to see through darkness and smoke as it shows the heat signatures of items.
During the summer of 2009 TurCon Construction Group was hired to repair, upgrade and expand the Fire Hall; the total project would cost just over $350,000.00. The walls of the original 1976 section of the building had completely rotted and had to be replaced, general exhaust and make up air was added to the building as well as an 800 sq ft addition.
Also in the fall of 2009 while the renovations were taking place, the Fire Department made the decision to have a mural painted on the exterior North wall of the building. Clancy Moonbeam Fitzgerald, a local artist from Grande Prairie was contacted to do the project. Clancy came up with a conceptual drawing of the mural from a picture of the two original Fire Trucks owned by the Town of Wembley. Once the drawing was approved by the department members the project was started. The project was completed in a few weeks at a cost of just over $1,200.00 and now the original Fire Trucks have been immortalized for future generation to see.
Alfred Scheider - served from Dec 1969 - Mar 1971
Dale Chambers - served from Mar 1971 - Dec 1972
Wolf Rautenstrauch - served from Dec 1972 - May 1973
Ron Clarke - served from May 1973 - Jan 1981
Darcy Adams - served from Jan 1981 - Mar 1983
John Gilje - served from Mar 1983 - May 1984
Brian Pierrard - served from May 1984 - Oct 1989
Gregg Littleton - served from Oct 1989 - Jul 1990
George Fortier - served from Jul 1990 - Sep 1994
Wally Harper - served from Jul 1990 - 1997
Richard Querin - served from 1997 - present