11 men have served as Fire Chief for Waterford Fire Department. They include:

Elmer Fangboner, James Lamberton,Rudie Boss, Edward Smith, Lewis “Bud” Goff, Russ See ?-1981, Wendell “Butch” Trager 1981-1996, David Yarber 1996-2000, Dennis Storrs 2000-2011, Ron Spears 2012-2015, John Lyman 2015-2019

Matt Covey is is the current Fire Chief for Waterford Regional Fire Department


Waterford Township erects a new Town Hall building with accommodations for a fire truck.


The Waterford Fire Department is established and the 1st fire truck purchased was a 1941 GMC Pumper.


The first resuscitator for the Department was purchased. Advancements in fire fighting techniques and first aid stem from WWII.


The 1st 2-way radios were purchased for the Department. Township population reaches 24,128.


Station 2 was built on Walton Boulevard. to better serve residents in the northern area of the Township.


Rudie Boss was appointed to Fire Chief.

Station 3 was built on Elizabeth Lake Road. near Huron St. in the Huron Gardens and Lincoln Heights district of the Township.

Edward Smith was appointed to Acting Chief.

Elmer Fangboner was appointed to Fire Chief

Waterford fire fighters organize and join the International Association of Fire Fighters and become Local 1335.


Waterford fire fighters organize and join the International Association of Fire Fighters and become Local 1335.


The 1st resusci-Annie is purchased to practice mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


Station 4 is built on Williams Lake Road to speed responses to the growing northwest part of the Township. The population in the Township soars to 60,000.


A millage is passed to establish EMS services in Waterford. This included the purchase of a new Advanced Life Support squad, emergency medical equipment and the needed manpower.


Station 5 is built on North Hospital Road to respond to Waterford's growing population and for a faster response time to the Oakland Community College Highland Lakes Campus.


Wendell "Butch" Trager is promoted to Fire Chief.


A new Township Hall is built in the new Civic Center Complex and the old Town Hall building is given to the Fire Department to use as Fire Station 1. With a $5,000 grant from the Township, the firefighters remodeled all 3 levels of the old Town Hall, converting it into living quarters, vehicle bays, and administrative offices.


A 2nd millage was passed allowing the department to expand it's EMS services. A 2nd Advanced Life Support squad was purchased, additional medical equipment and manpower were added.


The old Station 3 was torn down and a new station was erected in it's place near the corner of Elizabeth Lake Road and Cass Lake Road.


Township population exceeds 70,000 and run volumes surpass 4,000 alarms annually.


The department purchased its first aerial truck, a 1991 Sutphen 100 foot aerial ladder truck. It can reach the heights of Lakeland Place Apartments and the Oakland County Executive Office Building. It can also stretch over Summit Place Mall, Meijers and the GM Part Plant.


The Professional Firefighters Union establishes the Fire Relief Fund. This fund will allow firefighters to provide immediate assistance to Waterford residents that are displaced after a house fire. We provide hotel stay, clothing and even food supplies. It is funded through fundraisers held throughout the year and donations from private sources.


David Yarber is promoted to Fire Chief.


Both the initial and second millage pass ensuring the continuance of Advanced Life Support services in Waterford for another 10 years. Waterford Township establishes a central dispatch center for dispatching police, fire and EMS emergencies.


The Waterford Fire Department Honor Guard is formed and a Special Response Team is organized and trained to respond to hazardous chemical emergencies.


Fire Marshal Dennis Storrs is promoted to the position of Fire Chief of the Waterford Fire Department.

A new Fire Department Headquarters building is erected incorporating the administrative offices, a state-of-the-art training facility, and adjoining living quarters and apparatus bays for Fire Station 1.

Waterford Fire Department begins to provide Fire and EMS service to the 300 residents of the City of Lake Angelus. Waterford joins the Oakway Mutual Aid Pact combining forces with 9 neighboring agencies


The Training Division is formed and the Waterford Fire Department begins providing training to not only it's own personnel, but outside agencies and the general public. CPR and Basic First Aid classes are offered to the public for the first time. The Waterford EMS Academy is founded, a fully accredited EMS school, and a whole host of EMS education programs are offered to fire and EMS professionals throughout Michigan and across state lines. Plans are underway to provide a State certified fire academy in the near future.

September 11, 2001 - Terrorists fly 2 commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center buildings. A third jetliner crashes into the Pentagon and a fourth jetliner crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives including 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics from the FDNY. Waterford Firefighters conduct a successful "Fill the Boot" campaign to raise money for the families of the New York Firefighters that lost their lives in this tragic event. 10 Waterford Firefighters drive out to New York to meet with on duty firefighters and present our donation.


A new millage was passed enabling the Waterford Fire Department to add a much needed 3rd Advanced Life Support squad to its fleet. Thirteen additional firefighters, most of them are already licensed paramedics, were hired to staff the new squad.


Funds were raised, apart from taxpayer money, to purchase a mobile fire safety house. This house and the associated hands-on program is used to teach Waterford citizens, primarily school children, home fire safety and how to survive and escape a fire. Thousands of people per year participate in this life-saving program.


A Waterford church partners up with the Fire Department and the Police Department for a pancake breakfast which is held at Fire Department Headquarters. This annual event which takes place during the week of September 11, brings firefighters, police officers, and the community together to honor the memory of those that perished in the 2001 terrorist attack. Monies received from the pancake breakfast raises funds for the charities funds of both departments.


Fire Department purchases a rescue boat for any water emergencies that occur on one of our 27 lakes.


Technology upgraded to include 24-hour status monitors at all fire stations so that on duty personnel have live up to the minute information as to where every fire department unit is located, and the type of calls that are occurring. Fire Department receives a 6x6 Polaris Ranger from a grant program. It is used for any and all off road emergencies, such as brush fires, lost children, snowmobile or bicycle accidents.


Waterford Fire Department began full-time transporting of EMS patients to local hospitals. Because of that, Fire Stations 2 and 5 were remodeled to accommodate more personnel at each station.

Rescue 2 was moved from Fire Station 1 to Station 2. An additional bathroom, and office space was added. Additionally, a pitched roof had to be built to prevent further roof leakages from causing damage to this very old station. Rescue 5 was put in service on September 1, 2009, responding out of Station 5. Living room, bedroom and bathrooms were updated.


Battalion Chief Ron Spears is promoted to the position of Fire Chief of the Waterford Fire Department.

February 1, 2012, the Waterford Fire Department begins providing Fire and EMS service to the City of Pontiac and its 59,515 citizens. Waterford hires 42 former Pontiac Firefighters to provide this service. This creates the largest Fire Department staffing in Oakland County. Three of the 5 Pontiac Fire Stations are kept open. Three engines, 2 tower trucks, a ladder equipment truck and a Captain are available to respond by Waterford Firefighters in the City of Pontiac. One of the closed Pontiac Fire Stations will become a special response station and a regional training facility. 99 firefighters are now on the line. 33 are scheduled per day out of 8 fire stations.

Waterford Township Fire Department officially changes it name to Waterford Regional Fire Department and a new logo is created.


Waterford Regional Fire Department receives a SAFER grant from the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. The award amount of $7,670,676 is to hire 39 firefighters for a 2-year period. This brings the total grants awarded to the Fire Department to nearly $9,000,000 since 2003.


New EKG Monitor/Defibrillators purchased with grand money are put in service on our rescues. We can now transmit 12-lead EKG's to cardiac intervention hospitals. With this technology, patients can bypass the ER and go right to the cath-lab for emergency cardiac cath. Heart muscle can be saved with the transmission of EKGs.

$3,000,000 was awarded by SAFER to WRFD for hiring 15 new firefighters for a 2 year period to re-open a fire station in Pontiac. We worked hard with local, state and federal officials to secure this money but could not accept it, as there is the no layoff clause with this grant. With the 2012 grant period looming, we could not guarantee layoffs.


Deputy Fire Chief John Lyman is sworn in as new Fire Chief.

3 new rescues purchased and placed into service.

Jaws of Life extrication equipment ranging in age from 20-25 years old was replaced with brand new e-Draulic Jaws of Life. Grant money was used to fund this major purchase. This new equipment does not have a power unit or hoses. New technology has everything internal to each tool. Every engine has it’s own cutters, spreaders. Large cutters, spreaders and rams, are on 3 units in our system as “heavys”

Grant totals over 12,000,000 since 2003.

39 firefighter positions were eliminated and SAFER employees were laid off as a result of the SAFER grant not being funded for 2014. Staffing on fire engines is now 2 per engine, and Fire Station #4 is staffed when manpower allows.


2016 means 75 years of service for the Waterford Fire Department. A video was created with the help of Cable Coordinator Gary Allison and Battalion Chief Jim Runyan. We debuted the video in the fall at Waterford Kettering with approximately 75 in attendance. In addition we created a new photo collage for 2016 that proudly hangs on the wall at Fire Department Headquarters.

The Fire Department was awarded the 2015 SAFER grant through the United States Department of Homeland Security. 39 SAFER positions were opened up again, and we began with recalling laid off personnel.

Calls for service in 2016 - over 12,000.

We opened Station #4 full time with the SAFER employees and running another Paramedic rescue. That makes all 5 fire stations capable of running transporting paramedic rescues.

Fire Station #5 got a new pitched roof built over the original flat roof.

We said good bye to Volunteer Lt. Buck Monahan as he passed away after fighting cancer for several years.

3 firefighters – Chief Lyman. Lt. Phebus and Lt. Dumas traveled together to Haiti on a medical missions trip. They provided medical care to hundreds of Haitians.

November 2016 we had 2 people fall 30 feet inside an empty 2 million gallon water supply tank. A technical rescue of epic proportion. Critical patients, ropes, confined space, darkness put us to the test. Working alongside our OAKWAY partners, we got them out safely. Unfortunately one of the victims succumbed to his injuries.


A new fire engine and a new aerial truck (aka a Quint) were ordered. Delivery will take place in 2018.

New CPR compression devices and EMS Stretcher powerloads placed on each rescue with the help of another Federal grant. Over $22 million in grant awards since 2003.

Two large training scenarios took place in 2017. One at the international airport and one at the rail yard. Both events tested our capabilities and the capabilities of our OAKWAY partners.

Large apartment fire in Pontiac involved all stations, our OAKWAY partners and other mutual aid partners.

FF/AEMT Martinez organized a fundraiser and had all fire stations accept donations for residents in Puerto Rico devastated by a hurricane. He was able to get a military cargo plane to fill up with the goods and transported to PR.


New vehicle deliveries.  New fire trucks delivered in the summer.  First new trucks purchased by the Township since 2002.  Department creates new color scheme of gray over red for all new trucks.  New Rescue/Ambulance and new state of the art Command Truck purchased and delivered

Waterford voters approve a Public Safety Special Assessment District for Police and Fire.  Fire Department will see an increase of 5 personnel and will pave the way to see that fire department vehicles and other equipment are replaced in a timely manner.  

Six Firefighters were sent to surface water rescue training, first of its kind for Waterford Regional Fire Department.  Shortly after the training, firefighters respond to a call and retrieve a drowning victim.  

Call volume surpasses 13,500


Fire Chief John Lyman Retired after 30 years of service. Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Covey was promoted to Fire Chief, Fire Marshal Carl Wallace was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief. 

The 2019 Fire Department Budget was $20.4 million. The fire department purchased 2 Sutphen Corporation Class A fire engines both will be located at fire station 2 and fire Station 3.  Purchases 2 new ambulances, and 2 new GMC Sierra Pickup trucks for our Fire Inspection Division. 

A major improvement was the implementation of the BRYX911 Mobil Application which was installed on all Fire Apparatus iPads in early 2019. This application provides up-to-date information to our responding units, which includes Google Maps for directions, mapping locations of all Fire Hydrant locations, and alerts. Future use of this application will be fire station alerting and radio interface. 

Battalion Chief Blake Nelson and Fire Chief Matt Covey attended and graduated from Eastern Michigan School of Fire Staff and Command Executive Leadership Program. 

2019 Calls for service 13,813 with 9,860 medical emergency calls.  The busiest fire station continues to be fire station 3 located at Cass Lake Rd and Elizabeth Lake Road with 2,822 Calls


As our nation faced uncertain times with the COVID-19 pandemic and the concern of high death rates and an unstoppable threat of sickness, our firefighters/paramedics never missed a beat at work. Each of them had to adapt to rapidly changing policies, guidelines, protocols, and the way we respond. Including leaving their families at home who were all concerned about their well-being. This pandemic showed the true spirit and strength of our fire service. 

2020 was the first time our department saw a decrease in the total fire and other emergency calls as residents were concerned about hospitalization due to COVID19.  

Notable purchases in 2020 were a new Sutphen Corporation Class A fire engine, and a new ambulance. Sadly, the department was faced with a slow supply chain and difficulty in finding protective equipment for our firefighters who were responding to the COVID19 Pandemic. With a simple social media post our residents and business owners came to help by providing N95 masks and other needed medical equipment. 

Promotion John Phebus to Fire Marshal and Wayne Peruski to Deputy Fire Marshal. Fire inspector Mark Trager retired from the department with 37 years of fire service time. 

2020 Calls for service 12,937 with 9,064 medical emergency calls.  876 fewer calls than 2019


Through the first few months of 2021, the fire department continued to face COVID-19 issues and worked through continued changes in response and medical care protocols. 

This year brought several promotions within the department: Wayne Peruski to Fire Marshal, Jeremy Grundy to Line Captain, Robert Butcher to Inspector Lieutenant, Chris Webster to Inspector Lieutenant, James Muller to Line Lieutenant, and Chester Felts to Line Lieutenant.  Retirement of Fire Marshal John Phebus and Fire Captain Mike Mathews. 

Notable purchases in 2021 were a new Sutphen Corporation Class A fire engine, a new ambulance, and a new command unit. 

2021 Calls for service 14,244, with 5,172 medical transports and call returned to normal response levels post COVID19. 


2022 was a busy year- with multiple capital purchases and capital improvements. Purchased through Sutphen Corporation a class A fire engine-heavy recuse (Squad 9), and an additional fire class A fire engine, purchased a new ambulance, 2 staff pickup trucks, 6 new LifePak15 Cardiac Monitors for our ambulance service, and 3 Lucas CPR devices. 

Lieutenant Mike Grier retired after 27 years of service which caused Steve Meier to be promoted to Lieutenant. The department added 3 Lieutenant positions to offset out-of-class movement, Dohn Lyons, Thomas Hanson, and Troy Weaver were promoted to Lieutenant. 

The busiest day of the year in 2022 was Monday. The busiest fire station was FS3, and Engine 3 responding to 3,116 incidents, and the busiest ambulance was Rescue 3 with 2,570 incidents.  2022 Calls for service 14,416, with 10,161 medical emergency calls.