According to the Waterloo Advocate, the local newspaper, in 1866 a mass meeting of the citizens of Waterloo was held to devise ways and means to protect the town of Waterloo against the ravages of fire. It was determined that fifty (50) members would be needed, at least one (1) fire engine and one (1) hook and ladder company to combat fires.
In July of 1867 a fire company was being organized. A set of Bylaws and a constitution were adopted in 1898 calling the fire department “The Waterloo Fire Company”. The offices held in the Company were a President, Vice President, 1st Foreman, 2nd Assistant Foreman, Secretary, Treasurer and four (4) Captains. The Captains were each assigned a ward and a hose cart. The fourth Captain was responsible for the Hook and Ladder wagon.
The bell presently hanging at the existing Waterloo engine house was used for the alarm of a fire call. For the 1st Ward the bell was tapped once, 2nd Ward the bell was tapped twice, 3rd Ward the bell was tapped 3 times and four taps meant that the hook and Ladder wagon of the 4th Ward was needed. The Bell Toller received fifty (.50) cents for ringing the bell alerting fireman of a call.
In 1898, Nick Glasson was elected Chief of the Waterloo Fire Company and Chief Glasson held the position for twenty (20) years. Louis Nobbe holds the distinction of longest tenure as Chief of the Waterloo Fire Company by retaining the title of Chief for twenty seven (27) years.
In 1905 it was determined that the fire company would not consist of more than thirty (30) members. Elections of officers were held the last Friday of December and three (3) Trustees were appointed by the President of the company in 1920. Today the department consists of active roster of 32 dedicated volunteers that are helped out by honored retired members (members that chose to take a more limited role in firefighting activities).
The first fire truck was purchased in September of 1933 for $6,185.00 with a payment schedule spread over a three year period. The current fire apparatus of the Waterloo Fire Department consists of a rescue truck, two pumpers, a ladder, a tanker, a brush truck and a personnel hauler. Today there are some fire apparatus that could cost in excess of $1 Million depending on their function and capabilities.