New fire chief credits the work of the previous fire chief, crew

Photo by Chad Koenen
Andrew Browne has recently been elected to serve as the fire chief for the Deer Creek Fire Department.

By Chad Koenen


Andrew Browne can simply look out his window from Wadena State Bank in Deer Creek and see the fire hall he will soon help to guide into the future. Browne was recently elected as the new fire chief of the Deer Creek Fire Department. He will take over for long-time fire chief Travis Collins.

“It is going to be exciting and I am humbled to take over this position,” said Browne. 

Browne is hoping to tap into his career experience, first as a deputy sheriff and a 911 dispatcher, and more recently in the banking industry, to help the local fire department serve the residents of the eastern part of Otter Tail County. His experience in the banking industry could provide some expertise in seeking out all-important grants and funding sources to replace expensive equipment down the road.

After serving as fire captain, Browne was nominated for the position of fire chief. He was elected to the position and is looking to serve in his new capacity. He had high praise for what Collins has done over the years and is looking forward to the opportunity to build upon what the previous fire chief has done during his time in that capacity.

“I am looking forward to leading the (fire department),” said Browne. “Travis left the fire department in great shape over the past decade.”

With a career in law enforcement, prior to coming back to his family’s banking business, Browne said it was Collins who encouraged him to join the fire department as a way to serve and give back to the Deer Creek community. 

“I ended up talking to Travis (Collins) about helping out in town,” said Browne of how he got involved with the fire department. 

Browne joined the fire department in 2017. He said he has enjoyed the variety of calls, as well as the opportunity to give back to the community. 

As he looks into the future, Browne is hoping to secure more grant funding and expand the fire department. Currently there are 18 members of the Deer Creek Fire Department and three people who have recently joined the department as part of the new relief program. Anyone who is interested in serving on the Deer Creek Fire Department is encouraged to contact Browne, or another member of the Deer Creek Fire Department, to find out more information about training and what being a member of the fire department is all about. 

Browne said the Deer Creek Fire Department responds to an average of 80-90 calls per year with approximately 70 percent of the calls being medical calls.