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100 plus Years of Service to the Fire Service  
 
The Southern Wisconsin & Northern Illinois Fire/Rescue Association
was organized as the ‘Southern Wisconsin & Northern Illinois Firemen's Association’ in 1915.  At that time it was comprised of twelve fire departments in the southwestern region of Wisconsin and the northwestern region of Illinois.

The goal was to bring these fire departments from both states together for the exchange of ideas, operations, and mutual aid.  Annual Conventions, hosted by a different member each year, were held to forward these goals and to conduct Association business and elections.  The Annual Convention also featured one or more nationally known speakers.  These speakers were virtually a Who's Who within the nation's fire service.
 

On Sunday, September 10, 1937, the Association held its first ‘School of Firemanship’ in New Glarus, Wisconsin, with 60 firefighters in attendance.  The membership of the Association at that time was twenty-one fire departments.  For the next twenty-three years, the ‘Fall Fire School’ was hosted by different fire departments in both Wisconsin and Illinois.  On September 18, 1960, the Annual Fire School was moved to the Green County Fairgrounds in Monroe, Wisconsin, it has been in Monroe WI, ever since.

In 1980, the Association’s Fire School was expanded to include classes on Saturday.  In 1998, the Fire School was further expanded to include a third day, Friday, when a National Fire Academy class was held on Friday and Saturday.  2005 marked the last year that the Sunday afternoon grandstand demonstrations were held.  After years of this being one of the centerpieces of the Fire School, as the number of classes offered and number of students attending steadily rose for the three days of classes, the Sunday afternoon demonstration attendance declined as students and other attendees opted to instead visit the vendor exhibitions—or to go home after being thoroughly worn out by the live-fire and other hands-on classes.

2019 will mark the 83rd consecutive year of the Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Fire/Rescue Association’s Annual Fire School and will have a fresh look as we will be in Janesville WI for the first time. The reasoning for our move, a decision that was very difficult, we looked for venues that offer multiple hotels for more rooms with availability for students. Hotels with conference rooms and ease of travel for students/instructors. We view this as essential for the future viability of the Fire School and the potential to resurrect a vendor show.  


SWNIFRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS —FISCAL YEAR 2018
 
OFFICERS
President: Patrick Widolff, Orangeville, IL
   1st Vice President: Aaron Withee, Brodhead, WI
2nd Vice President: Scott Jager Monroe Center, IL
Secretary/Treasurer: Teresa Withee, Brodhead, WI
 
FIRE SCHOOL COORDINATOR
 Shane Boehmke, Huntley IL
 
DIRECTORS
Shane Boehmke, Huntley IL
Charles Dahlberg, North Park IL
Chad Grossen, Fitchburg WI
Richard Reiter, McFarland WI
Betty Smith, Fox Lake IL
Joe Sutherland, South Beloit IL
Kevin Wernet, WI
Charles Cunningham, IL 
 
 
 Upcoming meeting dates for 2019
to come 


 
 
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