Bob Floming refers to his department as “one of the best in the area.”
Floming, director of public works for the Village of Atkinson, also serves as Fire Chief
of the Fire Protection District which is celebrating its 70 th anniversary at the 2019
Heritage Days festivities on Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 24.
Floming, who along with Mike Boelens and Bobby Burton, have been with the
department for 40 years, will serve as grand marshals for the Heritage Days parade at 2
p.m. on Aug. 24.   The Fire Protection District has its first fire truck which they plan to include in the
parade. They now have five fire trucks and two ambulance trucks.
There are approximately 25 volunteer fire fighters.   Burton said when the department was organized the volunteers “just had to hop on the
truck when there was a fire call and today’s volunteers also need training and education.”
In addition to Chief Floming, other department staff includes Jason Burton, assistant
chief; Mike Boelens, captain; Brian Massingill, captain; Josh Wagle, lieutenant; Scott
Krug, lieutenant; Noreen White, ambulance director; and Ashley Wagle, assistant
ambulance director.   Trustees are Dan DeSmith, Kenny DeSmith and Mary Claire Gustafson; and Nick
Simon is department chaplain.
According to the history of the department, many residents of Atkinson believed there
was a need for an organized fire department, but that did not happen until a fire destroyed
the home of August Moens in January of 1948 and prompted the discussions of
organizing a department. At that time, the Prophetstown Fire Department was called when a fire occurred in the Atkinson area.   Janis Smith, representing the Atkinson Heritage Days Committee, said, history records
of the fire department stated, “By the time they traveled 18 miles to the Moens’ home in
below zero weather, their truck arrived frozen.”
In 1949, the Atkinson Fire Protection District was formed after a local vote approved
the measure – 142 to 34.   The Henry County judge at that time appointed Lawrence Dynes, William Wyffels and
W.C. Nicol to serve as trustees of the new district. Dick Dean was appointed fire chief
and Ed Roman was assistant fire chief.   Equipment was purchased from what the Village of Atkinson had been using and the
fire station was leased from the village. Additional necessary equipment was ordered.
There also was an attempt to recruit a crew of 25 men to be volunteers for the newly-
formed Atkinson Fire Protection District.