About the Park
The Memorial Wall of Honor and the Memorial Bell Tower serve to remind us of the sacrifices made by our fellow Firefighters. The Legacy Stones also provide us with a reminder of these sacrifices as we walk through the park.
Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial wall is made up of six black marble plates containing the names of those firefighters from Wisconsin who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Final Alarm Bell Tower- The Bell Tower houses an authentic fire bell originally hung at the headquarters of the Superior Fire Department in 1892. The bell was donated to the WSFM by the Old Fire House located in Superior, WI. The bell tower metal truss system was constructed and donated to the WSFM thanks to the efforts of the North Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
The bronze plaque located beneath the bell explains the significance of the Final Alarm Ceremony. Also included is a dedication plaque in memory of Assistant Chief Michael Kilpatrick of the North Lake Volunteer F.D. and all firefighters who have died in the line-of-duty.
Legacy Stones - Granite legacy stones line the walkways at various areas throughout the park. They provide a means of honoring loved ones or showing support for the Memorial Park. They are available for purchase and come in two sizes with custom engraving available.
The Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit charity organization dedicated to preserving the memory of firefighters who have died in the line of duty. This challenging task was started in 1994 by seven members of the Fire Service from central Wisconsin. The WSFM founding members were Tom Anderson, Peter Augustyniak, James Gignac, Carroll Knutson, Rick Moscinski, Mitch Waite and Ken Zarecki. Together they laid out plans to build a memorial park to honor firefighters for their service.
On April 16, 1996 then Governor Tommy G. Thompson signed into law, legislation designating Wisconsin Rapids as the site of the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial. "Wisconsin firefighters put their lives on the line every time they battle a blaze and it is only fitting that we honor those who were lost in the line of duty," Gov. Thompson said. "The State Firefighters Memorial is a tremendous project that will make sure we never forget the courage, bravery and dedication of our firefighters. And Wisconsin Rapids is an ideal location for the memorial because of its central location in the state."
With the city chosen, the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial Board of Directors set about finding a suitable existing park in the city to house the memorial. They placed the utmost importance on peaceful locations without high traffic or an industrial image. After a careful examination of the sites in the area, the memorial committee selected Ben Hansen Park on the southwest side of the city. The park is along the west side of the Wisconsin River, providing the peaceful and somber atmosphere the memorial requires. In addition, the park's existing tall trees and rolling terrain add greatly to the tranquility and serenity of the location, making it the perfect place for the memorial.
After the site for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial was decided, the real work began. Donations were solicited and various fund raising activities took place all across the State.
Those who have given include families, loved ones and entire fire departments. Please give to the memorial today and support our fund-raising efforts for this worthy project. Send your tax deductible contribution to...