11th Annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day
Janet Wilmoth, FEMSA Board of Directors
The 11th Annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day, held at the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA) [http://www.nipsta.org/academy], Glenview, Illinois, had over 100 fire chiefs, 30 vendors and 15 legislative staffers.
The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, together with the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association (FAMA) and the Fire Equipment and Manufacturers and Services Association (FEMSA) coordinated the eleventh annual event.
Chief Fred Fiedl, Gurnee Fire Department and president, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, welcomed the attendees to the working lunch and presentations. Paul Darley, president & CEO, W.S. Darley & Co. and representing FAMA, introduced the video presentations and the speakers.
Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL, 17th District) Peter Roskam (R-IL, 6th District) and Robert Dold (R-IL, 10th District) addressed the attendees through pre-recorded videos. Sixteen legislative staffers were in attendance and several also spoke, thanking the fire chiefs for their work and offered support of their leaders.
Invited speakers for the hour long program included Matt Perez, Illinois State Fire Marshal, Tim Sashko, executive director of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, and Jay Reardon, executive director of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS).
Colonel (Ret.) Royal Mortenson, director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), provided information on the history of the IFSI, as well as highlighted the extensive research and training programs currently offered by the institute. Mortenson highlighted the Cornerstone training program, point-of-delivery training for volunteer firefighters.
“For the first time in 92 years, we’ve trained first responders from all 102 counties in Illinois,” said Mortenson.
After the presentations, the staffers were offered the opportunity to tour the training academy and don firefighter turnout gear and participate in equipment displays.
Illinois’ Home Day was created to bring together northern Illinois fire chiefs and state and local legislators to understand firsthand the state of the Illinois fire service and the impact of grant funding received. Illinois has 18,500 career firefighters and 20,000 volunteers.
NIPSTA, opened in 2001 by 17 founding members, has over 300 instructors and last year held 164 educational programs over 24,000 instructional hours. NIPSTA is an inter-governmental agency comprised of municipalities, fire protection districts, and other organizations located in the Chicago metropolitan area that have combined energies and resources to create a regional, state-of-the-art, $29 million, public safety training facility. NIPSTA is designed to meet the needs of its members by providing ongoing training of fire, police, public works, and other public safety personnel.