Welcome to Lake of the Woods Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company Inc.
In addition to this simple purpose, the Company was also encouraged to the teaching of the best firefighting and first-aid methods to its members and to “secure and retain the full respect and confidence of the citizens of its community. Throughout the years since its incorporation LOW Fire & Rescue has maintained the level of professionalism necessary to provide the community with the protection and preservation as was stated from their very onset. In the years since our incorporation all this has been achieved in spades. With changes to the level of our equipment, number of personnel, required training need to serve, and even the very definition of what our community has become, LOW Fire & Rescue has been there for the community. Started by private developers, Boise Cascade Company, the Lake of the Woods was turned over to the private sector through an association, a fire service and rescue squad and the Lake of the Woods as we know it today was started. Even with the LOW Fire & Rescue just being started calls from across the region started almost immediately.
In November of 1971, the Orange County’s Supervisors voted to give just $5,000 annually to the LOW Fire & Rescue Company for the services they provided to the entire County. In 2022 the County Supervisors approved funding a majority of the operating expenses for LOW Fire & Rescue Company so that our members are able to focus less on fundraising and more on responding to the hundreds of calls both within the Lake and throughout the County, as well as neighboring counties.
In 2001 the Rescue Squad responded to a record number of emergency calls; 463 with the Lake community and 416 elsewhere in Orange County. For the 7th year in a row, the number of calls within the Lake community reached an all-time high. The squad’s total of 1014 for all areas, while higher than the previous year’s calls of 943 did not set a record it did show the level of commitment to the surrounding community.
In contrast, the LOW Fire Department responded to more calls outside of the Lake in 2001, 147 as compared to 87 within the Lake community. The total number of calls answered by both Fire & Rescue was 12 times that from their first year. In 1996/1997 Orange County supplemented the all-volunteer Fire & Rescue Company with paid professionals to aid in reducing the number of calls outside of the community.
At our beginning the company had 1 engine, a 32 year old truck that had been rebuilt and it’s 1 ambulance was, newer than the fire truck, was a 1969 station wagon in which rescue equipment had been installed. Shortly after acquiring these pieces of equipment others were added: 2 Mack fire trucks, one built in 1952 and the other in 1955.
Today through an agreement with Orange County, our company apparatus are in large part included in the Capital Improvement Plan and funded through the EMS Levy which ensures all county Fire and EMS have access to the right equipment when responding to emergencies. In addition to the vehicles mentioned above the company also owns a Hazardous Materials Trailer and a boat for water related rescues.
With 8 members at its beginning that came from the LOW Community we have grown into a combined volunteer force of over 150 members from the Locust Grove area. This force is also supplemented by a paid group of 3 firefighter/medics who are on staff with the volunteers on a 24 hour / 7 day a week basis.