VIDEO: After 150 years of service the De Pere fire department has gone through many large changes.
Despite these changes, the department uses its history to prepare for the future.
"We always grow from the big events we have to get a little bit better," said battalion chief Brett Jansen. A technological advancement that is a far cry from the humble beginnings of the fire department back more than a century ago.
There's been several large fires in De Pere that have molded the town's history. Jansen said the last major one unlocked a new method to battling fires in downtown.
"It allowed us to put in dry hydrants which connect right to the river," said Jansen.
Those hydrants allow the department to take water from the Fox River and pump it up to an active scene. Gone are the days of simple coats and boats. In their place, firefighters have full structural gear that Jansen said has helped them save countless lives on the job.