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2017 Illinois Home Day

June 2, 2017

The 12th annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day was held on Friday, June 2nd at the Chicago Fire Academy.  With over 100 attendees including fire chiefs, congressmen, staffers, as well as representatives of FAMA and FEMSA member companies, the event was a huge success in advancing issues important to the fire service.

The Fire Service Home Day event is coordinated by the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, FAMA, and FEMSA. Home Day was created to bring together fire chiefs and local legislators to understand the Illinois fire service. The Home Day events FAMA/FEMSA GAC have held have taken place across the country. These events allow members to improve their links within the fire industry.

Twelve companies participated in the event with displays for their equipment and included the following FAMA and FEMSA member companies: W. S. Darley & Co., C.E. Niehoff, Federal Signal, Hendrickson, Paratech, Firehouse, Scott Safety, and Flame Guard USA.

Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Brad Schneider both spoke and agreed to put their support behind the reauthorization of the AFG and SAFER programs. They both also agreed to join the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago and Chief Don Hroma welcomed attendees and shared the rich history of the Chicago Fire Academy. Chief Gordy Nord, President of the Metro Chiefs, and Chief John Christian, Grayslake Fire Department, and 1st Vice-President of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association represented our co-sponsors Metro Chiefs. They provided information on other legislative issues facing the fire service including the alarming rate of cancer among our firefighter community.

Paul Darley served as the MC for the event. He addressed the congressmen and staffers saying, “This day is about you, and we ask that you carry home the following messages:

  1. Reauthorization for the AFG program
  2. Continued funding for the SAFER program, and
  3. Please join the Congressional Fire Services Caucus

Richard Dunne, Fire Program Specialist, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presented on the funding in the fire service.

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.