History

of the

Prague Fire Department

 

The Prague Volunteer Fire Department was organized
after the fire of 1898, which destroyed a store, a resturant,
a barber shop, a saloon and a blacksmiths shop.In addition,
the Village records, which were in possesion of the Village
Clerk (owner of the barber shop) were also destroyed.  The
Village seemed to have an epidemic of fires at that time,
all occuring at night.


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Prague's First Fire Engine - 1898

 

In 1898, the Village of Prague purchased it's first fire engine at a cost of $650.  It was equipped with two hose lines for two streams of water and could be operated by manpower, horses, or a combination of both.  It did efficient work on subsequent occasions.  A large well and two cisterns were also dug on main street for fire protection.  The well was not very satisfactory though, and for this reason, water for the cistern was gotten from the railroads water tank.

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Prague Fire Department  -  1936
L-R  Back row:  Lawrence Wernsman, Anton Jerabek, V.R. Shimerka, John Pabian, J.J. Mueck, Ant. E. Semrad Middle row: Ivan Svoboda, Laddie Caha, James Havel, Ernest Kuncl, Edward Vavra, Louis Cink, Adolph Simanek, Edward Bures,Chief Front row: James Suchy, Willam Perk, Max Hampl, Carl Prai, Edward Kucera, Ray Pacl, Max Zizka

 

In 1929, a chemical tank and a ladder and hose rack, mounted on a Packard chassis were procured. 450 feet of hose were then bought and in 1931, and additional 400 feet of hose was purchased. In 1932, the equipment inventory was increased by a chemical tank mounted on a Ford chassis. Meanwhile, the firemen joined the state association and the number of members was increased to 25. In 1936, the Ford chemical was traded in on a 500 gallon Barton centrifugal pump and ladder and hose rack, all mounted on a new Chevrolet chassis. Four hundred feet of additional hose was also added. This made the equipment inventory quite complete with 1200 feet of hose.


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Prague Fire Equipment  -   1962
  L-R  City truck, Tanker, Rural truck

In 1955, the Prague Community decided to initiate rural fire protection. This move proved to be beneficial to everyone in the community , since it enabled the department to obtain some of the most modern equipment in the area. The original members of the Prague Rual Fire District board were: Stanley Sousek (president), Adolph Janecek, Leonard Musilek, Wilfred Wirka and Milo Krondak. In 1962, the Prague Fire Department boasted a new fire truck equipped with 1400 feet of hose, a 500 gallon supply tank and an auxiliary pump capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute. Another truck stood by with 1000 gallons of water, prepared for emergency service. A short wave radio was also added for communication needs.

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Prague Fire Department  -  1962
L-R  Kneeling: Wilfred Wirka,Leonard Odvody, George Codr, William Perk, Ray Ourada, William Kubik, Myron Coufal, Frank Polacek, Edward Ourada, Lester Vavak, John Petrzelka, Adolph Janecek , James Sloup. Standing: Stanley Sousek, Dennis Urban (Chief) Clarence Harbin, Anton Semrad, Myron Krondak, Vincent Shimerka, Joe C. Urban, Milo Krondak, Emanuel Sisel, Richard Shimerka, Frank Hlavica, Louis Prohaska , Ernest Belik