Bricelyn’s first year with new fire station proves a success

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, June 30, 2016

BRICELYN — Community leaders say a new fire hall in Bricelyn has helped quicken emergency response time and enhanced community spirit.

Bricelyn opened a new 5,280-square-foot fire hall on Main Street in June 2014 to house its volunteer fire and ambulance department.

The fire station cost $200,000 and holds six fire trucks.

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Bricelyn Community Club helped pay for the kitchen, bathroom and meeting room of the facility. Bricelyn Fire Department, Seely and Brush Creek Townships and the city of Bricelyn assisted in paying for the facility.

The fire station, across the street from the old fire hall, has been used beyond its original intent for community events such as movies, a Fourth of July chicken feed, pancake breakfasts, a wedding dance and a groom’s supper.

The hall includes a kitchen, big screen projector and other amenities.

Bricelyn Fire Chief Craig Stallkamp said the new fire hall has been a success.

“It’s been used a lot more than we thought it was going to be by the community,” Stallkamp said.

“With the small towns getting smaller all of the time, losing businesses, it’s nice to see some new building going on Main Street. We’re not ready to give up on the town.”

Bricelyn has 18 on its volunteer force that covers both ambulance and fire departments.

Bricelyn Fire Department had been looking at the site for the last 10 years.

Stallkamp said the fire department’s old station across the street hadn’t been updated and wasn’t up to code. New trucks had to be specially built to fit into the facility.

He said the fire department has increased its efficiency and space in its new facility, and vehicles have been able to get out of the building faster.

The department covers a section that is six miles by 12 miles wide that covers the two townships and Bricelyn, as well as six miles in Iowa.

Stallkamp and Bricelyn Mayor and retired firefighter Dan Klingbeil said the department usually responds in three to four minutes and serves an important purpose.

“Without something local, the response time is going to be basically too long to do much good,” Stallkamp said.

He said being a first responder in a small town is unique.

“You’re helping people you know,” Stallkamp said. “You’re helping people you’ve grown up with, that you’ve known for your whole life. It’s a little different than the bigger city where you don’t know who you’re going to help.”

Klingbeil said he is proud of the building.

“I’m very proud of the guys who did the work,” Klingbeil said. “They went out and got the job done.  It’s a nice building.”

Stallkamp hopes the building can draw new volunteers to the force.

“There’s not a lot of younger people from the area anymore,” he said. “If we do get somebody moving in, they can see we have a nice new building,  they can see we’re proud of what we got.”

Klingbeil, a Bricelyn native who vounteered seven years on the Eagan Fire Department and 21 on the Bricelyn Fire Department, said the fire hall is good for the community.

“It’s beneficial to the community and to the townships that we serve,” Klingbeil said. “It has benefited everybody, I think.”

“It keeps some of our identity.”


Why do you work in Bricelyn over a larger fire department?

“You’re helping people you know. You’re helping people you’ve grown up with, that you’ve known for your whole life. It’s a little different than the bigger city where you don’t know who you’re going to help.”

Bricelyn Fire Chief Craig Stallkamp


By the numbers

2014 – Year the fire department and ambulance service moved into the new fire hall

5,280 – Square feet in the fire hall

18 –

Volunteers Bricelyn has on its fire and ambulance service


About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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