Fire Fighting, then and now
By Kate Johnson
Beulah’s fire department has been changing with the times for decades. The department roster has a variety of members -- spanning some who have been active for 58 years all the way down to being only months on the job.
The Beulah Rural Fire Department has continued to change during the decades it’s been around. However, it’s always held true to the camaraderie of the squad and the overall goal of the community’s safety.
Dennis Kirchmeier has been a volunteer firefighter for 58 years. When Kirchmeier joined it was at the interest of the company he worked for, West River Telecom. In the ‘50s, WRT had party lines. These party lines were connected in a way that, if one were to fail or go down, they would all go down. Being a telephone man, Kirchmeier was asked to join the fire department in the interest of WRT and keeping the phone lines running. Kirchmeier would head into a burning building and unplug the phone line so that the remaining three lines would continue to work.