George H. Manetzke, Jr.

Fire Chief George H. Manetzke, Jr.

In July 1949, George H. Manetzke, Jr., at the age of 19, was approved as a member of the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

George was granted a leave of absence, from the department, from April of 1951 to June of 1953, during which time he served in the U. S. Army where he attained the rank of sergeant, while being deployed to Korea.

He returned home and was reactivated as a volunteer in June of 1953 and began working for the Eureka Lumber Company. He was appointed as their manager in 1957 and worked for them through December of 1970, when he left to become the full time paid Fire Chief of the Eureka Fire Protection District.

George was appointed to the position of 2nd Lieutenant, of the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., in January of 1954 and as 1st Lieutenant in January of 1956. He was promoted to the position of Assistant Chief/Training Officer in January 1957 and held this position until December of 1960 when he was elected as Fire Chief, by the members of the department.

In addition to his job at the lumber company and his fire department duties, he also served the City of Eureka as its City Fire Marshal and was twice elected by the citizens of Eureka, in 1968 and 1970, to serve as alderman of Ward Two.

He remained in the position of Fire Chief of the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. until April of 1970 when the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. became the Eureka Fire Protection District and he was asked by the newly elected Board of Directors to be the volunteer chief of the newly formed district. In December of 1970, the E.F.P.D. Board of Directors asked George to become the first paid employee of the Eureka Fire Protection District as of January 1, 1971.

At the regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting on November 9, 1971, the Eureka Fire Protection District Board of Directors, on the recommendation of Chief Manetzke, placed an order for a new chrome yellow 1000 GPM mid-ship pumper. This truck was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. It was delivered on June 21, 1972 and dedicated to Fire Chief George H. Manetzke, Jr.

On November 11, 1971, Fire Chief George H. Manetzke, Jr. answered his final alarm when he was killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on a propane truck that exploded and he was struck on the head by flying debris. He was survived by his wife, five children, his father, a sister and the many brothers and sisters of his fire department family.