Red truck

Coon Valley Fire Department rolls through at the Chaseburg Snowtrailer Trail Days Parade, Jan. 20.

The Coon Creek Fire Commission has provided rescue services to the towns of Coon, Washington and Hamburg, and village Chaseburg, since 1947, with Coon Valley joining in 1989. Originally it was known as the Coon Creek Fire Fighting Association before changing the name in 2015.

“In 1971, the four municipalities signed an agreement to officially become the Coon Creek Fire Fighting Association,” Orlan Bakkum, president of the Coon Creek Fire Commission, said.

The commission, along with the village of Coon Valley, was able to provide equipment to the Coon Valley Fire Department to be used to serve the five municipalities.

“We are basically the governing body, we take care of the finances,” Bakkum said. “Coon Creek Fire and Rescue are contracted with the commission to do the response, fire protection and first responder services.”

“Everybody needs to have fire protection,” Russ Cornford, chief of the Coon Valley Fire Department, said. “The commission keeps it all local. It’s a good thing, we all get along well.”

The commission is made up of 10 commissioners, two from the five municipalities.

“Each have two members, normally the chief officer, but they can also be appointed,” Bakkum said. “Chaseburg and the town of Hamburg both have appointed positions.”

The commission holds regular meetings on the first Monday of every month at the fire station in Coon Valley.

“Things have been going really good,” Bakkum said.

The commission will host an Appreciation Chili Supper Fundraiser at the Coon Valley Village Hall March 9 at 4 p.m. There will be refreshments, a bake sale, and other fundraising activities. Donations of cash can be dropped off at WCCU in Westby and Coon Valley, as well as River Bank in Coon Valley. For more information, contact Bob at 483-2150 or at All money raised goes to the Coon Creek Fire and Rescue volunteers.

Bakkum said the idea for the fundraiser came from one of the commissioners at their November meeting as a way to give back to the volunteer firefighters who helped during the flooding in August and September.

“Our volunteer firefighters and first responders left their homes and families to help anyone in need,” Bakkum, said. “Many of them had flooding issues of their own.”

The commission set up a committee headed by Bob Schultz and Troy Morey.

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Sahnje McGonigle can be reached at


Vernon County Broadcaster reporter

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