The year was 1928. It all started when Hector Scott's house burnt down. The house, which was located at the site of the current Hamel Post office, went up in flames as area residents watched with a sense of helplessness. Although they managed to remove most of the Scott family furniture and possessions they were unable to do anything to extinguish the flames and the house was totally destroyed.

After the fire, a group of citizens decided to band together and form the Hamel Volunteer Fire Department. H. J. Dorweiler, who ran the Farmers State Bank of Hamel, was elected Fire Chief and C. G. Hayes, who ran a garage and repair shop where Chloe's Attic now stands, was elected as the Assistant Chief. 

The newly formed Fire Department launched an effort to procure equipment to fight any future fires. Through the efforts of Jake Adams and one of his brothers, a Minneapolis paint company contributed 50 three gallon pails to be used for fighting fire. Each of the firefighters was asked to buy a length of hose which was to be brought along to any fire. With the hoses connected to stirrup pumps set in tanks filled with water from the pails, the firefighters were equipped to extinguish fires. Area farmers, when they became aware of a fire, would bring water to the fire scene in their milk cans to refill the pails.

Eventually, the Department purchased a piece of mobile fire apparatus. This "vehicle" consisted of a four wheel trailer with a gasoline powered engine to run the water pump. The trailer was housed in the old American Legion Hall which was located where the current Legion Building now stands. When a call came in, the first firefighter to arrive at the Legion would hook the trailer to his car and head for the fire scene. A hand crank siren on the trailer alerted other motorists of the presence of the "fire truck".

Still later, the fledgling Department purchased a 1931 Model A truck and the firefighters, under the leadership of Paul Fortin, built up a real fire truck. The truck continued to be housed in the old Legion Hall until 1948 when the Farmers State Bank of Hamel built a new bank building. The old bank building was moved to a vacant lot across the street from the current Inn Kahoots bar and became the "new" fire station. The building still stands there today.

With new quarters, the Department purchased a 1948 Dodge pickup truck and again, under the leadership of Paul Fortin, built-up a fire truck on the Dodge chassis. Both trucks were housed in the bank building. Still later the Department purchased an old gasoline delivery truck and converted it into a tanker. The tanker was housed in Dave DesLauriers' personal garage.

With the pressures of increasing development, the Department purchased a 1959 Dodge fire truck which was custom built in North Branch, Minnesota. The 1931 truck was eventually sold, but some 40 years later it was repurchased by the Department and restored by the firefighters. It is now used during parades and special events.

As more equipment was acquired, the Department outgrew the old bank building, and a new fire station was built in 1966. This building served the Department needs until 1986 when it became necessary to add on to the building to make room for more equipment. This is the current location of the station.

Today, the Department has nine pieces of fire apparatus. There are two engines (or pumpers), two tankers, a general utility truck, a light rescue vehicle,  an off-road vehicle,  and two general purpose command vehicles. The Department equipment and training meet all current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) standards. 

While the trucks, equipment, tools and techniques have changed dramatically over the years, one thing has not and that is the desire and passion of our members to serve and protect the community. Today, just as in 1928, our philosophy remains ... Service Before Self!