The West Chicago Fire District is dedicated to providing compassionate and skillful service to all.
The West Chicago Fire District will focus on organizational trust, personal integrity and the responsibility to maintain professionalism and pride.
The West Chicago Fire Protection District started as a volunteer fire department dating back to May 1896. Fire Marshal Matthew Leonard was the town’s first Fire Marshal. The first firehouse was town hall on Main St. that housed the wagons for the Hose Company & Hook and Ladder Company No.1. Around the same time, the town established a municipal water system, purchased fire equipment, and appointed firemen creating one of the best protected villages in the area.
In 1953, a new building was built at 128 W. McConnell St. which housed both the police and fire department. This new building helped accommodate the need for fire protection. It included 4 bays compared to the 1 bay at original firehouse. New apparatus was also purchased to better protect the community.
During the late 1960’s, the Volunteer Fire Company changed, by referendum, to a Fire Protection District. This change created a new taxing body, allowing the Fire District to collect taxes directly from the taxpayers, rather than as a component of the City of West Chicago. Ultimately allowing the fire company to expand and increase the service provided to the village and rural areas around.
By 1968, the newly formed Fire District had plans for 2 new firehouses. One on the South side of the railroad tracks at 509 Church St. and the other on the site of Washington Jr. High at the corner of Fremont St. and McConnell St., adjacent to the then current city firehouse on McConnell. The school was razed, and the new headquarters was constructed. The firehouse stands today at 200 Fremont St and still operates as the headquarters for the Fire District. The firehouse at 509 Church St. was sold to the City of West Chicago to be used for Public Works.
A second referendum was passed in the early 1970’s allowing the Fire District to form an ambulance district. This ambulance district provided Emergency Medical Services to the residents, which was not available prior. This creation led to an immediate increase in service prior and helped address the needs of the growing community. The Fire District hired 6 full time members to staff the ambulance 24 hours a day. Quite a change from a true volunteer fire department. The full-time members were sent to Chicago Fire Academy to become State of Illinois Emergency Medical Technicians. The Fire District was still protected by volunteer firefighters that would still respond day and night.
Over the next decade, the number of career members increased to allow for both a fire engine and an ambulance to be staffed 24 hours a day while still being supplemented by the volunteer members. In 1980, a firehouse was constructed on the property of DuPage Airport increasing coverage for the North side of the District as well as Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) protection to the DuPage Airport.
Today, the West Chicago Fire Protection District covers about 26 square miles with 4 firehouses. The District has 55 members that staffed 2 Fire Engines, 1 Tower Ladder, 2 Ambulances, 1 ARFF, and a Battalion Chief, 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year.
The West Chicago Fire Protection District employs 36 sworn firefighter/paramedics, 12 contracted paramedics, 5 command staff, a fire marshal and an administrative support coordinator.
The West Chicago Fire Protection District proudly maintains a Public Protection Classification of 2 from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). To learn more about Public Protection Classifications and ISO click here.