Riverside Fire District in Rothschild now operational

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 7:07 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Riverside Fire District shared between the Village of Rothschild and City of Schofield is now operational with a few finishing touches left for the building.

The two municipalities have served central Wisconsin as one, joint fire district since 2017. The new building allows the volunteer firefighters operate in the same space.

“The City of Schofield and Village of Rothschild have such a great working relationship,” explained Rothschild Village Administrator Gary Olsen. “And now to finally have the fire district that was consolidated and merged in 2017 in one location and to get all the apparatuses, all the equipment, all the people in one place is huge.”

The two entities say it allows them both to cut down on costs and time previously spent.

“Communities our size need to consolidate their resources in order to better serve the residents,” said Schofield Mayor Kregg Hoehn.

The project cost both municipalities $5.3 million. Olsen said that is under their original $5.5 million budget.

“We did a study to figure out where the best place would be because Schofield is about two miles long, Rothschild is a little longer, and it came out that this position was almost dead center in between,” Olsen said.

Rob Bowen is the fire chief for the district. He previously worked for the City of Schofield Fire Department for over two decades in numerous roles. He served as chief with the legacy department for six years.

Bowen said the building is equipped with amenities that allows the volunteer firefighters to serve the community efficiently.

“We have Dorm rooms that we never had at either legacy departments,” Bowen explained. “So, now for overnight staff to be able to sleep here and have the same accommodations that a career fire district has and it makes our call-time faster.”

Other amenities include a full kitchen, movie room, laundry room, workout room, training room and several office spaces.

The building’s foyer has a legal wall that reminds both Rothschild and Schofield firefighters of years past.

“It kind of gives us the ability to reflect on where we came from and where we are now,” said Bowen.

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