Waverly Fire Department

Waverly Volunteer Fire Department

The Waverly Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. has a long and rich history.  The Department's number one priority was, and remains, the citizens of Waverly and the surrounding area.  

The Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1906 as the Waverly Fire Brigade.  It was comprised of 19 men and had one hook and ladder truck.  In 1944 the Brigade was reorganized as the Waverly Fire Department with 25 members with new equipment that included a pumper and a pickup to pull the equipment.  New equipment, new members, and new training opportunities were added over the years and in the early 1970’s the Fire Department officially incorporated as the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. relocating in its present headquarters adjacent to City Hall at 502 Atlantic Ave.

As of the beginning of 2023,  Waverly's Volunteer Fire Department is comprised of 25 experienced, well-trained professionals with state-of-the-art equipment.  The scope of their responsibilities has expanded and now the Department answers several hundred calls each year.  While the majority of calls are medical calls, fire calls are not unusual.  The Department members also do storm watching, take carbon monoxide-related calls, do water rescue, and respond to auto accidents, anhydrous ammonia calls, or any other emergency that befalls you or your family.  The Department responds on a mutual aid basis when neighboring communities need additional equipment, water, or manpower. 

The Fire Department's service territory includes all of Waverly City and goes west of Waverly to Gowan (halfway to Howard Lake), east of Waverly to the 12-Hi Community, south to the county line in Woodland Township, and north to 10th Street in Marysville Township. 

The members of the Fire Department are volunteers that are now paid a small stipend for each call.  Members meet twice a month on the first and third Tuesday at the Fire Hall.  The first meeting is a business meeting and the meeting on the third Tuesday is devoted to training - something that is constantly ongoing.  All members of the Department are certified as Firefighter I, and as  First Responders.  Many are certified as Firefighter II.  There are several that are certified EMTs

The following are members of the department with the member's first year of service noted in parenthesis. 

Officers: The experienced team of leaders includes Fire Chief Ben Duske (2003),  Chief Two Mike Cody (2010), Chief 3 Josh Reed (2004), Captain 1  Steve Eggiman (2012), Captain 2  John Woitalla (1997) Captain 3 Jason Karels (1996) and Captain 4 and Secretary/Treasurer Ashley Cody (2010).

Members of the Department include Roger Karels (1991 Reserve),  Meri Ault (2006 Reserve), Chris Weege (2008 Reserve), Scott Altringer (2009), Ashley Cody (2010), Andy Burak (2011 Reserve), Max Whitton (2013),  Travis Remer (2013), Jared Ewert (2014), Sarah Larson (2015), Joe Crawford (2016). Spencer Benes (2019), Anthony Bury (2019), Kyle Ostgard (2020), Evaristus Ndze Ntuv (2020), Jackson Flesher (2021), John Manthei (2021), and Sunshine Heymans (2021).

The Waverly Volunteer Fire Department is one of only 8 independent fire departments in Minnesota.  As an independent department, it is incorporated separately from the city and controls its own finances.  As such, the department sets its own budget, owns its own equipment, and can make operating and financial decisions independently of the city.   The Fire Department is funded by a special assessment on property taxes paid by residents in the entire territory.  The Department also raises some of the dollars needed for equipment thru fundraisers. 

In addition to their fire and medical duties, the Fire Department can be depended upon to co-sponsor and help with many city and community events including the Memorial Day Celebration, Waverly Daze, and National Night Out.  Participation in fire prevention days at the HLWW schools is an important community service offered by the Department as are the tours offered for class field trips.  The Department Fire Trucks are good representatives of Waverly at our neighboring communities' parades.  The Department also sponsors many events that bring fire departments from the surrounding communities together such as the Annual Spring Fireman's Softball Tournament and the Firemans' 5K Marathon during Waverly Daze.

The Fire Department is always looking for new members.  If you are interested, please contact Chief Ben Duske at 612 414-9149 or leave your name and contact information at City Hall. The Department can be reached by email at mail to