In February President Kotschi was the second officer elected to a three year term under the new bylaws.

The first election of Trustee’s took place to represent 4724 Charities:

Jason Shields (5 years), Willie Lawton (4 years), Ryan Knippel (3 years), Joe Dominguez (2 years), Lucas Kotschi (1 year)

Local 4724 finished negotiating our first contract with the Town of Brookfield as members of the IAFF. In a very difficult time for labor and a poor economy we were taken to mediation for the first time as a local. We were still able to further improve wages and working conditions for our members.

One additional full time position was added, in the City of New Berlin, to the staffing to make each shift equal. Bringing the full time staff to 25, and then promoted Lt. Kon to Assistant Chief keeping the total of full time line staff at 24.

In October of 2013 Local 4724 joined the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and added more value and benefit for the members of the Local.


In February was the first election under the new by-laws. Joe Dominguez was the first person elected to the newly merged Secretary/Treasurer position and the first three year term of a principal officer.

2012 also brought new staffing and promotions to the City of New Berlin. Two additional full time positions were created which opened Station 3 on the west side of New Berlin. This brought full time staff to 24. Three new Lieutenant positions were also created, and Ross Gscheidmeier, Joe Pluta, and Chris Pierce were promoted.

In an effort to increase the amount of money Local 4724 could donate back to the communities, 4724 Charities was founded as the charitable arm of Local 4724. Members hosted the Inaugural Charity Golf Outing to raise money. For a first golf outing they had 116 attendees and raised nearly $12,000.00!!


The “budget repair bill” was introduced at the State. Local 4724 leadership and members were among the first to condemn the legislation, and Walker Administration, proclaiming solidarity for their brothers and sisters of labor. Members of Local 4724 were also some of the first to protest the anti labor administration, in the largest protests in the history of Wisconsin, at the capitol. Additionally, Local 4724 leaders were very active in the recall process, which was another largest in Wisconsin history and American history.

Members of Local 4724 also opted to restructure themselves as they made several by-law changes that included merging the Secretary and Treasurer, and extending the principal officer positions to three year terms.

Local 4724 negotiated our second contract with the City of New Berlin in the worst public employee labor environment in 50 years.


The members of the Town of Brookfield Fire Department voted to leave Teamsters Local 695 and to join Local 4724. President Poniewaz appointed Travis Padgett to the Executive Board.

Lloyd Bertram was appointed by the City of New Berlin as the new Chief. Through work with Local 4724 Steve Kon was hired as the first full time Lieutenant of the City of New Berlin. He took what was an Assistant Chief position.

The first contract between the City of New Berlin and Professional Fire Fighters Local 4724 was signed.


In February the first official executive board was voted in by the members of Local 4724:

President- Joel Poniewaz

Vice President- Lucas Kotschi

Secretary-Ross Gschiedmeier

Treasurer- Jason Shields

Executive Board Members- Brian Wendlick, Joe Pluta, and Marco Pelicaric

Under the direction of IAFF Service Representative Jerry Biggart Local 4724 began working on adopting Constitution and By-Laws and working on a first contract.


The members of the New Berlin Fire Department voted with an overwhelming majority to join, and were granted a charter into, the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, CLC as Local 4724.