Key West Community Fire Department Board of Directors Reopens Membership
By Chief Chris Tigges
February 3, 2020

Here is a little history on the membership of the KWFD:
When the Key West Community Fire Department was first organized to serve the community of Key West in 1953, the fire department relied on property owners in the fire response district to purchase memberships to help fund it. Originally, businesses were charged a $75.00 initial fee, farms and residences were charged a $50.00 fee, and everyone paid $2.00 every year thereafter to maintain the membership. These dues were the only money the fire department had to operate with for equipment purchases, fuel for apparatus, maintaining the station house, and any other expenses that occurred. Purchasing and maintaining a membership assured fire protection for your property. If someone chose not to be a member and had a fire at their house, the fire department would respond, only to watch the house burn and make sure that any neighbors’ houses did not catch fire (if the neighbors were members).

This membership also granted the purchaser access to a membership meeting once a year. At this meeting, the Board of Directors would read the minutes from each monthly meeting for the previous year. This assured the members that the money was being spent properly. The Board of Directors would also provide a meal at the annual meeting. If a seat becomes available on the Board of Directors, as a member you are eligible to be nominated for election to the Board of Directors.

In 1976, the State of Iowa through township trustees, started providing tax money to fire departments, eliminating the need for memberships. The membership was closed, and fire protection was provided to all property in the district. However, the existing members paid a $2.00 annual fee, to attend the membership meeting held in March. These members are the only individuals eligible to be on the Board of Directors.

In May of 2019, the Board of Directors voted to reopen the membership, at a cost of $25.00 per membership for residence, farm or business. They also voted to raise the annual dues to $5.00 per year to cover expenses for the membership.

What you can do today:
If you know someone interested in becoming a Member of the Key West Fire Department, please obtain an application (see below) and return it along with $25.00 to the fire department. The only qualification is that you need to own property inside Key West Fire Department’s protection district. The Board of Directors will evaluate your application and vote on giving you a membership. Then you will receive a certificate with your name and membership number for your records. You will receive a letter every year reminding you of the annual meeting at the firehouse and that you owe $5.00 annual membership dues.

If you have any questions, please contact the station and leave a detailed message. 563-557-9556
Completed applications can be mailed to our station address:
10640 Lake Eleanor Road
Dubuque, IA 52003

Attachment KWFD Membership Application (Property Owners).pdf  (132k)