The 13th annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day was held Friday, June 1st, at the Chicago Fire Academy. With over 120 attendees including fire chiefs, congressional staffers, as well as FAMA and FEMSA member companies, the event was a huge success in advancing issues important to the fire service.
Twelve companies participated in the event with displays for their equipment including the following FAMA and FEMSA member companies: 3M/Scott Safety, C.E. Niehoff, Federal Signal, Firehouse, Haas Alert, Hendrickson, Paratech, and W.S. Darley & Co.
We had nine congressional staffers in attendance representing Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congressmen Krishnamoorthi, Schneider, Lipinski, Quigley, Schakowsky, and Kinzinger.
Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago welcomed attendees and shared the rich history of the Chicago Fire Academy. Our speakers included State Fire Marshall Matt Perez, Chief John Christian, President of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, and Col. Royal Mortenson, Director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute. They provided information on other legislative issues facing the fire service including the alarming rate of cancer among our firefighter community.
Paul Darley, Co-Chairman of the event, served as the emcee. He addressed the congressional staffers, saying, “This day is about you, and we ask that you carry home the following messages:
- Reauthorization for the AFG program
- Continued funding for the SAFER program, and
- Please join the Congressional Fire Services Caucus”
After formal presentations, staffers then donned full PPE and climbed an aerial ladder to the top of the academy, operated the Jaws of Life, and held hose lines with theatrical smoke in the burning training building.
Plans already are underway for next year’s Illinois Fire Service Home Day.