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By George Coit
Deputy Fire Chief (Retired)

May 5, 1913 — The Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department was officially organized and Lincoln Pettis was appointed as the first fire chief.   It was a municipal department under the juris­diction of the Village of Deerfield. However, in 1942 the Village voted by referendum to disband the municipal department and turned fire protection over to the newly formed Deerfield Bannockburn Fire Protection District.

The first piece of fire equipment was a two-wheel cart. The cart could be attached to a horse drawn buggy or to an automobile, which were few in 1913, and dragged to the fire where a length of hose was unrolled and attached to the chemical tank. Bucket brigades brought water in pails as others helped. Fire hy­drants were installed in 1912 so there was some pressure for a hose connection.

Arthur J. Ender, son of Deerfield’s first Mayor John C. Ender, donated his old Peerless automobile to the volunteer firefighters. The men rebuilt the car into a small fire truck that carried a hose, chemicals, and a ladder. It also pulled Deerfield’s chemical cart to fires. This was Deerfield’s first piece of motorized fire apparatus.

That same year on May 26, 1913, at 6:30 A.M. the Deerfield Grammar School burned to the ground in one-half hour. Despite the aid of rain and the chemical cart, flames gained rapid headway after an explosion in the basement. The explosion blew out the entire west and south walls. Insurance on the building was $4,500 and insurance on the contents was $500. This money was used to help erect a new school building. It was a four room wooden schoolhouse belonging to School District 109. The school was located at the current site of the District 109 administration building at 517 Deerfield Road. It is also the site of the Deerfield Area Historical Society Vil­lage.

The first fire station was at 705 Waukegan Road in a little wooden building on the Fred Meyer property, which is now the site of the Deerfield Schwinn Cy­clery Shop. The fire alarm was an iron flange ring from a railroad locomotive tire, donated to the Village by a Mrs. Kress. It hung outside on a tree. The flange was struck with a big hammer to sound the alarm.

The building housed the 1923 International fire truck built by Peter Pirsch & Sons in Kenosha, Wis­consin. The truck had a 500-gallon per minute pump on it and carried a 100 gallons of wa­ter. In 1923, there was a big celebration in Deerfield with a parade, queen, and carnival to climax its buy. There are no records for this truck but many years after its retirement, it stood be­side the Barrett Plumbing Shop on Park Avenue east of the railroad depot. It is now a com­muter parking lot owned by the Village of Deerfield. It was later cut-up and sold for scrap.

The second fire station was in the former Frank Anderson barn. The barn was behind the Anderson Hotel on the southwest corner of Waukegan Road & Deerfield Road. The building later became known as the Stryker Building, the Deerfield Hotel, and the Callner Building.

The barn had an apartment on the sec­ond floor. Sometime in the 1940’s there was a fire in the apartment resulting from careless smoking. Lester Wicum, a cab driver for the lo­cal Deerfield Cab Co., lost his life in the fire.

The locomotive flange was moved to a box elder tree on the southeast cor­ner of Deerfield Road and Waukegan Road. The call of alarm was given by the pounding of a big hammer on the wheel. The Village of Deerfield paid Mr. John A. Stryker thirty-five dollars per month rent to house the fire truck. The barn had been used previously used as a blacksmith shop and an icehouse. Both build­ings were demolished in January 1989. The area is now a park owned by the Vil­lage of Deerfield.

The third fire station was in the north wing of the Masonic Temple at 711 Waukegan Road adjoining the Village of Deerfield offices that were in the base­ment of the Temple. In 1927, a siren was installed on top of the Masonic Tem­ple.

The alarm signals were: two long blasts for the business district and one long, one short blast for the north side of town. One long, two short blasts were for the south side of town. One long, three short blasts were for the east side of town. One long, four short blasts were for the west side of town. This station was occupied until 1951.

The fourth fire station was the site of the station at 839 Deerfield Road. The building was first occupied in June 1951. In 1954, it was enlarged to include a communica­tion room, kitchen, and meeting room. A second addition to the station was finished in 1968, just be­fore the beginning of the full-time career department. This addition in­cluded a new west truck bay, a hose and training tower, and a com­plete second floor. On the second floor were a new kitchen, bunkroom, wash­rooms, meeting rooms, and offices. In 1981, the second floor was remodeled to add addi­tional adminis­trative offices.

DECEMBER 25, 1925 — The second Deerfield Grammar School started on fire. This time it was saved with the help of Highland Park Fire Department. This school was also at 517 Deerfield Road. Taken from the official records of the Vil­lage of Deerfield, January 4, 1926: ” RESOLVED, The Board of Trustees of the Village of Deerfield, in their monthly session extend to the Fire Department of the City of Highland Park and the Fire Department of the Village of Deerfield their sincere thanks for the wonderful work done in extinguishing the fire in the Gram­mar School Building in the Village of Deerfield on the morning of Christmas Day. The quick service and heroic work of all the men, notwithstanding the frigid weather which obtained on that day, could not have been excelled by any paid and trained fire department in our state or country.”

1935 — Sometime this year there was a major fire in an A & P grocery store in the 800 block of Waukegan Road. The store was where the driveway is just north of the bakery now known as ” Deerfield’s”. Sonny Gastfield, a firefighter, tells the story that his mom used to send he and his brothers there to pick up gro­ceries. Every time they would go the store the owners would give him an apple for a treat. One time he went there and they gave him an onion as a joke. To this day, onion sandwiches are his favorite.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1941 — St. Paul’s Church on the southwest corner of Waukegan Road & Osterman Avenue burned to the ground. Records show that Deerfield’s only fire engine would not start. The Highland Park Fire Department was called for help. St. Paul’s Church was re­built and renamed Trinity United Church of Christ at 760 North Ave­nue. After the church was torn down in the late fifties, a gas station occupied the site. Now it is the site of a bank.

FEBRUARY 15, 1942 — The Village voted by referendum to disband the mu­nicipal fire department and establish a separate and independent fire protection district. The Villages of Deerfield and Bannockburn (by a vote of 262 yes to 40 no) approved a referendum for a fire district.

The Deerfield-Ban­nockburn Fire Protection District of West Deerfield Town­ship is a state chartered corporate entity operating under state laws as a mu­nicipality. Its territory in­cludes the villages of Deerfield (north of Lake-Cook Road), Bannockburn, River­woods (within West Deerfield Township) and all unincor­porated areas of West Deerfield Township. The Fire Protection District is eight and one-third square miles. The 2011 assessed valuation of the District is $1,546,867,645.

APRIL 29, 1942 — Following the referendum, the District held its first meet­ing on this date. Trustees were Anthony Nosek, who was chosen president, John Notz, owner of Deerfield’s only hardware store, and Harry Wing, one of the owners of Deerfield State Bank. Conrad Uchtmann was appointed Chief and thir­teen volunteers appeared on the first roster. The Village of Deerfield sold all its firefighting equipment to the District for $600. The fire district continued as an all-volunteer department until 1968.

JUNE 15, 1946 — Engine 715 was manufactured and delivered from Colum­bus, Ohio by Seagrave Fire Apparatus. It had a 750-gallon per minute pump and it carried 400 gallons of water. It was bought for $10,656.23 and was sold to Lt. Mark Mitchell, a fire officer, sometime in the mid 1980’s. The en­gine was paid for mostly by the volunteer firefight­ers from money that had been collected at turkey raffles, dances, etc.

Many men had taken money out of their pockets to help pay for the new en­gine because the 1923 International fire engine had a cracked cylinder head and had seen better days. It had a working siren, five-foot crow bar, and twelve pairs of boots. They had contributed $7,418.50 to the new engine and $762.15 to the buy of 1200 feet of Eureka fire hose, which cost $1,164.24.

1952 — A Chevrolet Step-Van was donated to the department by the Deerfield Li­ons Club. It was used as an ambulance and carried fire-fighting equip­ment. It was ” in service” until it was donated to the Lions Club in Land-o-Lakes, Wisconsin on April 21, 1971. In 1960, the department bought their first used Cadillac ambulance to transport patients to the hospital. In September 1959, my father, George Coit III, was taken to Highland Park Hospi­tal in this van. He was probably one of the last patients to ride in it. After many years of using this van for inhalator calls, it was a pleasure to have an ambulance to take its place.

FEBRUARY 6, 1954 — In Zion, Illinois, two blocks of the city’s business dis­trict burned. The fire damage valued at one million dollars. The cause of the fire was determined to be over­loaded wiring. The fire was on the corner of Sheridan Road & 27th Street. Thirty-eight fire trucks and 300 firefighters were on the scene. Chief Fred Grabo and six Deerfield firefighters responded from Deerfield.

APRIL 21, 1955 — Engine 712 was manufactured and delivered from Sea­grave Fire Apparatus in Columbus, Ohio. It had a 750-gallon per minute pump, and carried 1,000 gallons of water. It was bought for $19,622. It remained ” in serv­ice” until 1978 when it was sold to the Chief of the Long Grove Fire Department for $3,600 on February 16, 1978. He bought it for pa­rades and parties.

DECEMBER 24, 1955 — Point Comfort Restaurant in the 1400 block of Waukegan Road burned to the ground. The restaurant was an old wooden building. In those days, coats, boots, and helmets were carried on the en­gines. Most of the firefighters went directly to the fire from their homes. Elmer Krase, a fire­fighter, said that all the fire­fighters had gone to the fire and nobody had gone to the station to bring the engine. He left the fire and went to get the engine alone. I also recall his saying that the firefighters did not get home until noon the next day (Christmas Day) to open presents with their children.

A new building was built and it became Tastee Freeze ice cream store. It was the local ” hangout” for the high school kids when Deerfield High School opened in 1959. The same building is now the site of Tony’s Submarine Shop on Waukegan Road.

1957 — A new 4-wheel drive Willys Jeep was bought for $3,077. It had a fifty-gallon per minute pump, carried one hundred gallons of water, and one hun­dred feet of high-pressure hose. It was capable of leaving the road to fight field and brush fires in terrain where heavier equipment would get bogged down. It was ” in service” until the late 1960’s. It was then sold to Baxter Labs for $1,000. Bax­ter built a three story parking garage and used it for car fires in the ga­rage be­cause the overhead clearance was too low for an engine.

FEBRUARY 11, 1959 — The Deerfield Lumber Mill on Central Avenue and Pet­tis Lane started burning at 10:30 P.M. and continued until the next day. It is the present site of One Deerfield Place. The building burned to the ground and damage was estimated at $10,000. The Northbrook Fire Department was called to the scene for help. Thirty-two fire fighters spent the night battling the blaze and were paid a total of ten dollars each for their efforts.

AUGUST 25, 1959 — A 3:30 A.M. fire burned the Kleinschmidt Laborato­ries in the 400 block of Lake-Cook Road. It was a magnesium fire caused by care­lessness and damage was es­timated at half a million dollars. The Northbrook Fire De­partment and Glenview Naval Air Station Fire Department were called for help. Kleinschmidt manufactured teletype machines and was shut down for about six months after the fire.

1960 — The first Cadillac ambulance was delivered. It was a used 1955 Cadil­lac M/M that was bought from a funeral home in Chicago. It was ” in service” until the mid 1960’s when an­other used Cadillac ambulance was bought.

APRIL 13, 1961 — A basement fire was quickly extinguished at 12:40 A.M. at 645 Osterman Avenue.

APRIL 15, 1961 — At 2:32 A.M. a fire was discovered by two passing police officers at 645 Osterman Avenue. This was the home of Mr. John Lemon. Mr. Lemon was a member of the John Birch Society and was involved in many racial is­sues. Mr. Lemon was having financial difficulties and the fire was of suspicious na­ture. Today, the home is the Gand School of Music.

JANUARY 18, 1962 — Engine 716 was delivered. It was a 1961 Seagrave, built by Seagrave Fire Apparatus in Columbus, Ohio. It had a 1,000-gallon per min­ute centrifugal pump and carried 300 gallons of water. The Engine had a gas motor with an automatic transmission. Sometime in early 1972, the unit was re-powered with a diesel engine and manual transmission. It was bought for $12,500 and was ” in service” until 1977. It was then placed ” in reserve” until May 23, 1986, when it was sold to the Elk Grove Township Fire De­partment for $10,000.

DECEMBER 22, 1964 — A fatal fire at 651 Appletree Lane claimed the first life in the history of the fire district. The victim was believed to have died from smoke inhalation. The early Sunday morning fire was believed to have been caused by careless smoking and damage was estimated at $20,000.

1965 — The second Cadillac ambulance was delivered to replace the first ambu­lance that was traded in because of old age. It was a used 1959 Cadillac M/M that had been ” in service” at the Evergreen Park Fire Department. The unit was “in service” until 1967 when the first brand new ambulance was bought. There was a door-to-door campaign to sell annual firefighter’s dance tickets. Proceeds from the dance paid for the new ambulance.

DECEMBER 15, 1965 — Gustafson Pontiac burned in Libertyville on Milwau­kee Ave­nue. Deerfield Fire Department was called for help.

JUNE 18, 1966 — Strike & Spare Bowling Lanes burned to the ground and was a total loss. The Deerfield Fire Department helped the Northbrook Fire De­partment along with eleven other de­partments. The fire started early on a Satur­day morning (about 1:30 A.M.) and burned all night and on into the next day. That Saturday night was the Annual Firefighter’s Ball. I recall driving Engine 716 and the flames could be seen from the Deerfield Road overpass, which had just been built. We supplied Highland Park’s aerial ladder and had to stretch hose from the fire to north of Lake-Cook Road to catch a hydrant on the Highland Park water system. Hy­drants south of Lake-Cook road were running dry because of water that was being poured on the fire. Engine 716 stretched out over 1,000 feet of hose and had to bor­row hoses from Wheeling F.D. to finish the hook-up.

AUGUST 27, 1966 — Seven hundred ninety-four voters turned out to vote 733 in favor and 54 against a tax referendum raising the tax levy from .048 to 0.125 and a bond issue for $200,000.

AUGUST 28, 1966 — There was a practice “burn down” at 150 Waukegan Road. The building was a board­inghouse called the ” Poor Boy Farm.” It is the present location of the Deerfield Animal Hospi­tal. Deerfield was considering buy­ing their first piece of aerial equipment. The Schiller Park Fire De­partment had their 85 foot Snorkel there for Deerfield to use and evaluate.

DECEMBER 10, 1966 — Early evening fire at the Riverwoods Country Club caused nearly $30,000 in damages. The annual fire department Christmas party was that evening and had to be delayed because of the fire. The department was called to the scene, again around 2:00 A.M. the following morning because of a ” re­kindle”.

APRIL 29, 1966 — Fire and smoke did $10,000 damage to the home of William Witz at 80 East Greenbriar Road. A neighbor saw the fire at 12:49 P.M. when smoke began billowing from the home. The fire was believed to have started from an electrical short.

MARCH 1967 — First brand-new ambulance was bought for $12,500. All the money used to buy the ambulance was from dance donations and from the fire­fighters going door-to-door asking for donations. All the firefighters were proud that no tax money was used for the purchase. The unit was a 1967 Oldsmobile C/B (Cotner/Bevington manufac­tured in Blythsville, Arkansas) and was capable of car­rying four patients. It was in service until 1974 when it was sold to a funeral home in Gurnee, Illinois.

MARCH 5, 1967 — A twenty-four-car freight train derailment on the Soo Line Railroad in Prairie View. Nine cars were destroyed by fire that burned for days. Sonny Gastfield, a firefighter, injured his back falling through a hole in one of the boxcars. Deerfield Fire Department was called to help Vernon Fire Depart­ment. Many other departments were also called to shuttle water, as there was no water supply.

JUNE 23, 1967 — At 10:35 A.M. Deerfield firefighters helped Northbrook battling a smoky gas tank blaze at the North Shore Gas Company on Lake-Cook Road. The tank was un­der demolition and an acetylene torch started the fire. The fire could be seen for miles and took most of the afternoon to extinguish. Deerfield laid 1300 feet of hose to feed engines from Northbrook, Highland Park, and Glenview.

JULY 3, 1967 — Fatal fire of undetermined origin at 2161 Woodland Lane North did about $25,000 damage. Victim was Donald R. Kolle age 30. Mr. Kolle was found in the base­ment and was believed to have died from smoke inhalation. Fire was discovered at 1:45 A.M. and had been burning for some time before being re­ported by the neighbors.

AUGUST 11, 1967 — Fire destroyed a large barn on the Walter Busse farm. The farm was at 1420 Greenwood Avenue. The 2:00 P.M. fire could be seen from the station. This was one of the last farms left in the village and is now a residen­tial area.

MARCH 26, 1968 — Snorkel 711 was delivered. The unit was a 1967 Crown and cost $77,876. Crown Coach Company in Los Angeles, California built the chas­sis. It was then shipped by rail car to St. Louis, Missouri where an 85-foot Pit­man Snorkel was mounted on it. It was then shipped to Appleton, Wisconsin where Pierce Manufacturing mounted a body and cabinets on the chassis. It had a 1250-gallon per minute Hale single stage pump on it and carried 200 gallons of water. The unit was ” in service” until October 1984 when it was sold to Black River Falls (WI) Fire Department for $100,000. On October 20, 2001, we received a note from Capt. Dave Haynes of the Chihlowie (VA) Fire Department that they had pur­chased the unit from Black River Falls (WI) Fire Department. It was now being sold to the Glade Spring (VA) Fire Department.

MAY 16, 1968 — At the District Board meeting, President Robert Ramsey announced that examinations would be held for the employment of a full-time fire chief and eight paid fire­fighters. Ramsey explained to the Board that with eight paid firefighters, two for each of the three twenty-four hour shifts and two extra to substitute and do fire prevention inspections, two fire fighters would always be on duty at the fire department.

Plans for the full-time department burned the volunteers. Obstacles hin­dering a smooth changeover were protests about pro­posed working conditions, sal­ary, and requirements for full-time positions. Contro­versy began when an adver­tisement was placed in area papers seeking people aged 21 to 35 with a high school di­ploma. It also said they must be between 5′ 7″ and 6′ 5″ tall and must score suc­cessfully on a qualifying test to be given on June 26, 1968. State statutes for full-time fire department staffs set these requirements.

The problems arose because some volunteer firefighters could not meet the re­quirements. There were hard feelings starting to build up because the volun­teers were proud of what they had accomplished over the years. There was a tre­men­dous amount of “esprit de corps” among the group. They felt that the Board did not recognize them for their dedicated years of service. They also felt they should get preferential treatment before outsiders were hired.

During one of the many heated meetings with the Trustees, Chief Elmer Krase, who was the volunteer fire chief, put his boots on the conference table, and told the Board he was resigning, and walked out of the room. Most of the volun­teers were at the same meeting. They too got up and walked out with the Chief. There was question whether the statutory requirements had to be ap­plied to the first group of people hired because the volunteers already had knowledge of the town and the equip­ment.

The proposed salary was $6,500 and many felt they could not afford to live in Deerfield for that salary. The people who were appointed to the position of firefighter would be granted a one-year probation­ary contract. After the first year, they would be evaluated and given a permanent appointment or be dismissed, giving no security for their dependents. The wives protested to the probationary clause in the contract.

Through many meetings with Board members, the prob­lems were eventually re­solved. Reflecting back to 1968, the change from vol­unteer to paid is difficult at best. It is a sensitive and delicate issue when emotions, salaries, working condi­tions, and families are involved. Blending paid employees with non-paid employ­ees is difficult. It was felt by most of the staff that the Board of Trustees was trying to do the best for the District and for the staff, but felt it could have been han­dled with a little more diplo­macy.

OCTOBER 1, 1968 — At 7:00 A.M. the changeover from volunteer to a full-time paid department was made. It marked the end of one of Deerfield’s few re­maining ties to small town life. The full-time department started with nine fire­fighters, a chief, and about thirty paid-on-call firefighters. The first paid em­ployees were: Elmer A. Krase, Alfred (Sonny) L. Gastfield, George Coit IV, Thomas S. Wilson, Billy G. McKee Sr., James P. Murphy, Gordon E. Vines Jr., Richard L. Wilkes, William E. O’Donnell, and L.D. Prince. All except one (L.D. Prince) had been previous firefighters on the volunteer fire department.

JANUARY 12, 1969 — Two 1969 Plymouth station wagons were delivered. One (717) was assigned to the new full-time Fire Chief and cost $4,120. The other one (718) was assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau during the day and assigned to the Ass’t Fire Chief at night. This unit cost $3,520 and was stretcher equipped to be used as a back-up ambulance.

MAY 1, 1970 — Firefighters George Coit, Tom Wilson, James Murphy, Wil­liam O’Donnell, and Robert Douglas were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

APRIL 12, 1971 — Squad 714 was delivered. It was a Welch body built on a Ford Chassis. The unit had an air cascade system, generator, and large dry chemi­cal extinguisher. It was bought for $29,531 and was ” in service” until 1983 when it was sold to the Zion (IL) Fire Department

JANUARY 13, 1972 — A two-day fire started at 10:00 P.M. on the Tollway just north of the tollgate. Fire was a truckload of baled paper and was very diffi­cult to extinguish because of sub-zero weather, water supply, etc. Wind chill fac­tor was 45 degrees below zero.

JANUARY 26, 1972 — Engine 716 was placed ” out of service” until May 10, 1972. The engine was re-powered for $13,988 with a Detroit Diesel 6V71. Ameri­can LaFrance did the work. The old V-12 engine was sold to F.W.D. for six hundred dollars.

FEBRUARY 10, 1972 — Insurance ratings go from 10 (worst) to 1 (best). The insurance rating was raised from a Class 6 to a Class 5 within the corporate limits of the Village of Deerfield. Outside the village limits, the rating was raised to a Class 8 if you were within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. Other areas were rated at Class 9.

MAY 22, 1972 — Fire Chief Elmer Krase was removed from office as Chief. In this surprise action by the Board of Trustees, Chief Krase filed a lawsuit in Lake County Circuit Court. He contended that he could not be fired because he was hired with the permanent rank of Captain. The Board’s position was that he was not fired. He was being removed as Chief and the Board asked him to stay on the payroll as a “consultant” for a year or until he could find other employment. After a two-year court battle, he was awarded a $30,000 settlement. The judge ruled that he did hold the permanent rank of Captain. The Board told him that if he returned to work he would have to take an examination to test his proficiency. The judge also ruled that the Board had the right to give an examination. He never returned to work.

JUNE 7, 1972 — A 3:30 A.M. fire at 839 Waukegan Road started in the Dura­clean Building. The fire was of suspicious nature and did substantial damage to the interior. At the time of the fire, there was a police officer (John Bruce) on the midnight shift who was suspected of being a burglar. It was felt by most of the firefighters that he was involved in starting the fire for heroic efforts. He was the one who supposedly found the fire and reported it to the fire department. Officer Bruce was later arrested and convicted on burglary charges. Many Deerfield burglaries were solved after his conviction. The building was vacant, as Duraclean had just moved to their new international headquarters on North Waukegan Road. The building is now known as Marshall Square named after Mr. Irl Marshall who was the founder of Duraclean.

JUNE 14, 1972 — Fire did nearly $30,000 in damages to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Don­ald Anderson at 1675 Hickory Knoll Road The family was attending graduation exercises at Wilmot Junior High when the fire started in the attached garage. Two firefighters were slightly injured battling the blaze.

NOVEMBER 6, 1972 — Fatal car fire at 1:12 A.M. in the driveway at 524 Waukegan Road. The victim was a Juan L. Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez was believed to have been drinking and sleeping in his car when the fire started from a ciga­rette smoldering in the car seat.

FEBRUARY 10, 1973 — Burn Down at 524 Waukegan Road on the southwest corner of Waukegan Road and Central Avenue. The building was a turn of the cen­tury home that is now the present site of Baker’s Square Restaurant. ” Sparky” our fire dog was on the scene helping and injured his paw on some broken glass.

JULY 17, 1973 — Engine 720 was delivered. The unit was a 1973 Ward La­France, manufactured in Elmira, New York, with a 1250 gallon per minute pump, and carried 750 Gal­lons of water. It was bought for $60,683 and was in front line service until 1987. This was the first Engine that was bought with the new lime-yellow paint scheme. After some time and much controversy, it was changed to the present white over red paint scheme. It was in ” reserve serv­ice” until January 27, 1991, when it was sold to Trevor (WI) Fire Department for $22,000.

MARCH 24, 1973 — There was a tax referendum raising the tax levy from 0.30% to 0.40%. Vote was 362 Yes and 326 No. This passage increased the annual revenues.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1973 — The department joined the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS). It is composed of fire depart­ments from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The structure of the MABAS organization is subdivided into geographical areas called ” Divisions”. Each division has many fire departments within their own division, the only exception being Chicago that is a separate divi­sion.

The main purpose of MABAS is not to relieve communities of their responsi­bilities of giving adequate emergency services for local emergencies. All communi­ties should have their first line of defense plus its reserves. When a community exhausts these resources, then a stricken community can activate the MABAS sys­tem. Through a systematic structure, MABAS will provide:

  1. Immediate help of personnel and equipment on the scene of a large fire, medi­cal emergency, or other disaster.
  2. Response teams of firefighters, paramedics, hazardous materials technicians, underwater divers, etc.
  3. Access to specialized equipment which one department could not afford to own.
  4. A contractual agreement covering responsibilities and liabilities for its members.
  5. A broad area of coverage of eight Counties and nearly two hundred fire departments.

MABAS operates on the Northern Illinois Fire Emergency Radio Network (NIFERN) radio frequency of 154.265 MHz. This frequency has been named for inter-department use of emergency fire department radio traffic and is com­monly called the ” Mutual Aid Fre­quency”. Each division has a MABAS dispatching center and a back-up center with tone en­coders, which activate all alerting receiv­ers of participating departments.

MABAS was initiated in 1968 as a mechanism to provide day-to-day Fire/EMS and Special Operations mutual aid between government entities. In 1999, MABAS included 25 operating divisions. As of August 2002, there are 42 MABAS operating divisions representing approximately 28,000 of the states 40,000 firefighters and 750 of the states 1200 fire agencies, all working under a single, standard contrac­tual document.

FEBRUARY 1, 1974 — Paramedic program started. Ambulance 713 (1967 Oldsmo­bile) was converted into a Mobile Intensive Care Unit and the first Ad­vanced Life Sup­port (ALS) unit.

JULY 5, 1974 — A fatal fire claimed the life of Mrs. Ruth W. Sims age 65, at 1057 Ox­ford Road. Fire was reported at 2:30 A.M. by a passing police car. Fire was believed to have started from careless smoking in the bedroom where Mrs. Sims was found. Fire was reported to have almost burnt itself out because of a long smoldering period before it was detected and re­ported. Damage was esti­mated at $10,000.

JULY 12, 1974 — Ambulance 719 was delivered. Unit was a 1974 Dodge Care-O-Van and was the first Mobile Intensive Care Unit put into service by the department. The unit was bought for $17,104 and was ” in service” until March 1981 when it was sold to a private party. Because of the condition of the unit, it was stripped of the medical equipment and converted to a camper.

JULY 12, 1974 — Car 700 was delivered. It was a 1974 Chevrolet Bel-Air four-door sedan. It was used by the Fire Chief and was ” in service” until late 1979 when it was sold to Round Lake Fire Department. I recall Chief Gagne parking the chief’s ” buggy” in the business district and having the driver’s door torn off in an accident. Many firefighters joked about the Chief driving around town in a ” three door sedan”.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1974 ­— First long term save by Deerfield paramedics. These are ex­erpts from the Deerfield Review: Combined action of a high school junior with life saving training and fast action on the part of the Deerfield Fire Depart­ment paramedic team, saved the life of a Morton Grove man visiting in Deerfield.

Robert Pohn 45, was visiting his sister and brother-in-law Jane and Jerry Wein, 180 Crestview Dr. Pohn was playing cards with Wein while Mrs. Wein was up­stairs with three chil­dren Perry, 21, Gigi, 19, and Sindy, 16.

Suddenly Pohn collapsed in his chair, slumped but still holding his cards. While Wein called the operator, who in turn notified the paramedics, Sindy began mouth-to-mouth resuscita­tion, learned in a health class at Highland Park High School.

” I didn’t even know I was paying attention in class,” she said later. ” All of a sudden the teacher’s words were in my head.”

While Mrs. Wein cradled her brother’s head the girl worked, but breathing stopped just as paramedics arrived. The team of Jack Boess, Eric Iverson, Al Gastfield, and Mark Wach­holder found no pulse and no blood pressure.

They immediately began applying oxygen, resuscitation, defibrillation, and cardiac mas­sage. Doctors at Highland Park Hospital credited the girl and the team with sav­ing Pohn’s life.

After working on Pohn for more than half an hour, the ambulance took off at a slow pace for the hospital. The Deerfield Police drove Mrs. Wein, Sindy, and the other daughter to the hos­pital. Wein and son Perry drove to Morton Grove to tell Mrs. Pohn of the emergency and take her to the hospital.

Of the paramedic team Mrs. Wein later said, ” they are sensational. Of course, my daughter was too, and we’re grateful to the school system for giving her that training.”

” But everyone should know how sensational the paramedics are and give them every support necessary. When they brought him around after the heart attack, you should have seen them smile. And they have even been to see him at the hospi­tal.”

OCTOBER 6, 1974 — Ambulance 713 was delivered. The unit was a 1974 Dodge Care-O-Van. Unit was the second Mobile Intensive Care Unit placed ” in service” by the de­partment. Unit was bought for $17,404 and remained ” in serv­ice” until August 1981 when it was sold to Streator Ambulance Service in Streator, Illinois. The Rotary Club of Deerfield and money from the Village of Deerfield bought this unit and Ambulance 719 from money from a Booster Drive. Again, tax dollars were not used to buy ambulance equipment. The Rotary Club of Deerfield also donated money to buy the first telemetry radio (to transmit EKG strips to Highland Park Hospi­tal) and the first defibrillator.

JANUARY 18, 1975 — First pick-up truck was delivered. The unit was a 1975 Chev­rolet with four-wheel drive and a snowplow. It was bought from Rock­enbach Chevrolet for $6,039 and was ” in service” until October 1981 when it was traded in at Shepard Chevrolet for a new pick-up truck.

MAY 1, 1975 — Firefighter James Quinn promoted to the rank of Lieuten­ant.

JULY 23 1976 — Department was called to first major fire under the new MABAS agreement helping the Vernon Fire department. Fire was at the Chevy Chase Country Club at 3:56 A.M. Fire went to a fourth alarm and caused an esti­mated $150,000 in damages.

AUGUST 23, 1976 — After many years of riding with the firefighters on the apparatus Sparky, the department mascot, answered his ” Last Alarm”. He had made many friends with the children that would come to the station and the chil­dren that would see him out on alarms. Of­ten, we would be out on an alarm and the children would come running, not to see the fire, but to see and play with Sparky. To this day, children come to the station and ask about Sparky. Over the years, he also made friends with several butchers at the Jewel food store behind the sta­tion. He was very good at sneaking out the back door and we would find him at the Jewel or with his girlfriend on Osterman Avenue.

AUGUST 9, 1977 — A lawsuit charging “misuse of pension funds” and “denial of due process” was filed by two firefighters in Lake County Court. The suit was brought by Richard L. Wilkes and Jack G. Keyes against the District Fire Chief Jack Gagne and Trustees Earle S. Rap­paport Jr., Obert B. Fladeland, and Ethel M. Beauregard.

SEPTEMBER 29, 1977 — Wilkes and Keyes filed two other lawsuits in Lake County Court. Wilkes challenged the constitutionality of a recent suspension. Wilkes had been sus­pended for five days without pay for refusing to give a CPR class which he was quali­fied to do and had given many times. The other lawsuit contended that district trus­tees had ille­gally used district money for the use, maintenance, and operation of ambulances without holding a separate tax referen­dum to provide a separate tax base for ambulance opera­tion.

OCTOBER 3, 1977 — Tanker 712 was delivered. Unit was a 1977 Ward La­France with a 1,500 gallon per minute single stage pump and carried 1,000 gallons of water. The unit bought for $84,000; it was manufactured in Elmira, New York. In May of 1990, the unit was totally refurbished into a new Pierce Arrow by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin at a cost of $140,000. The tank was changed to 750 gallons and was put back in front line service.

NOVEMBER 6, 1977 — Fire did nearly $40,000 in damages to a home at 920 Summit Drive. A neighbor at 9:46 A.M reported the fire. It started in the family room was be­lieved to have been caused by careless use of smoking ma­terials.

DECEMBER 9, 1977 — Wilkes and Keyes filed a “libel and slander” lawsuit in the Federal District Court. The lawsuit was against Terrance S. Carden Jr. M.D., project medical director at Highland Park Hospital, and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The suit con­tended that they were wrongfully suspended from the paramedic program because they asked the legality of doing medical techniques without a doctor’s approval. The suit also contended that Dr. Carden had know­ingly and maliciously told a newspaper reporter that he suspended the two men be­cause they were “dangerous” and a threat to the safety of the people in the Dis­trict. After arguments in front of a federal judge, the lawsuit was dropped due to lack of proof.

MAY 31, 1978 — After lengthy and costly litigation in Lake County Court, all charges against the Fire District were dismissed.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1978 — The Board of Trustees put Wilkes and Keyes on an extended medical leave (without pay) after being on suspension during the litiga­tion. Wilkes filed for dis­ability pension through the Firemen’s Pension Fund. He was placed on a “mental disability” and evidence at the pension hearing showed that he had mental problems before being hired by the District. In addition, Keyes submitted his resignation to the department. It was under­stood that his resigna­tion was caused by the fact that he had not been working long enough to receive pension benefits.

MAY 1, 1980 — Firefighter John Sroka was promoted to rank of Lieutenant.

AUGUST 1, 1980 — Lt. James Quinn was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief.

MARCH 20, 1981 — Ambulance 740 was delivered. Unit was a 1981 Ford/Horton and was bought for $43,822.

AUGUST 26, 1981 — Ambulance 741 was delivered. Unit was a 1981 Ford/Horton and was bought for $48,985.

OCTOBER 15, 1981 — New pick-up truck delivered. Bought for $8,973 and had four-wheel drive with a snowplow.

MARCH 1, 1982 — Lieutenants George Coit and John Sroka were promoted to the rank of Captain.

MARCH 28, 1982 — Fire destroyed a home at 300 Thornapple Lane in Ban­nock­burn. Embers coming from the chimney and starting the roof on fire caused the Sunday morning fire at 10:30 A.M. Occupants of the house were un­aware that the fire had started, and it had made considerable headway before the depart­ment was called. Damage was estimated at $500,000 and a “tanker MABAS box” was struck because of no hydrants in the area. One firefighter was injured bat­tling the blaze.

APRIL 2, 1982 — Lightning struck a house at 686 Pine Street causing an esti­mated $35,000 in damages. Fire was at 1:05 P.M. in the afternoon.

JULY 5, 1982 — 8:59 P.M. fire at 1214 Woodruff Lane did $20,000 in dam­ages. Fire was believed to have been caused by careless smoking.

JULY 22, 1982 — A fire in the basement of the Deerfield Garden Apart­ments at 1141 Deerfield Road started at 10:15 A.M. and caused $10,000 in dam­ages. The fire was caused by water and flooding in the basement of the apartment building. Firefighters were hampered get­ting to the fire because of the flooding. The area had been declared a ” disaster area”. Many ar­eas of Deerfield were inac­cessible due to major flooding.

DECEMBER 3, 1982 — Fatal fire claimed the life of James M. Trom, age twenty-eight, at 749 Deerpath Drive. The fire was reported at 3:21 A.M. and caused an estimated $75,000 in damages. A small baby was rescued from the burning building that was believed to have been caused by careless smoking.

FEBRUARY 15, 1983 — Roofers set fire to a home at 946 Central Avenue causing an estimated $80,000 in damages. The fire was reported at 12:42 P.M. and was not brought under control for several hours. Northbrook Fire Department was called for help.

MARCH 31, 1983 — A light bulb caused a fire at 514 Jonquil Terrace at 10:09 P.M. The light bulb was believed to have been too close to combustible mate­rials and did $10,000 in dam­ages.

APRIL 27 1983 — Squad 754 was delivered. The unit was a 1983 Ford/Emergency One manufactured by Emergency One in Ocala, Florida with a 750 gallon per minute pump and car­ried 500 gallons of water. Besides rescue equip­ment, it had its own generator for lighting and carried extra air bottles. Unit was bought from Emergency One in Ocala, Florida for $104,995.

JUNE 16, 1983 — 5:04 A.M. fire at 1163 Dartmouth Lane did an estimated $20,000 in damages. Cause of the fire was undetermined.

JUNE 17, 1983 — Vandals set fire to the Deerfield Train Station during the early morn­ing hours. Damage was estimated at $50,000 because the north end of the depot had a Western Un­ion switching center. The fire caused major communi­cation problems in the area for some time. One subject was apprehended and prosecuted.

OCTOBER 2, 1983 — A fire of undetermined origin started a home on fire at 65 Kildere Lane at 7:41 P.M. Damage was estimated at $175,000 and took fire­fighters over three hours to bring the blaze under control. Highland Park Fire De­partment was called for help.

FEBRUARY 6, 1984 — Fire of an undetermined origin started a home on fire at 845 King Richard’s Court at 2:02 P.M. The damage was estimated at $120,000.

FEBRUARY 16, 1984 — Fire at the Walden School (636 Essex Court) started at 6:31 P.M. Fire was believed to have started by a kiln that was left on in the Art Department. Highland Park Fire Department was called for help. Damage was estimated at $65,000 and part of the school had to be closed until repairs were made.

JUNE 1, 1984 — Early morning fire at 3:31 A.M. at 333 Fairview Avenue. Fire was of a suspicious nature and caused $60,000 in damages.

OCTOBER 10, 1984 — Truck 731 was delivered. Unit was a 1984 Pirsch with a 110-foot aerial ladder. Unit was bought for $205,320 and was manufactured in Racine, Wisconsin by Pe­ter Pirsch & Sons. When this unit was delivered, the eighty-five foot snorkel was sold to Black River Falls (WI) Fire Department for $100,000.

DECEMBER 23, 1984 — There was an early morning fire at 3:30 A.M. at 333 Fairview Ave­nue. This fire was also of a suspicious nature and caused an estimated $30,000 in damages.

MARCH 15, 1985 — Early morning fire at 2:53 A.M. at 33 Arthur Court. Fire was be­lieved to have been caused by careless smoking and did $10,000 in dam­ages.

MAY 8, 1985 — Fire caused by a small child playing with the kitchen stove started at 343 Fairview Avenue. The fire at 10:45 A.M. was estimated at $45,000 in damages.

JUNE 6, 1985 — At 3:26 A.M., fire caused an estimated $90,000 in dam­ages to a home at 940 North Avenue. Fire was believed to have started from a ceiling light fixture in a second floor bathroom.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1985 — Fire at 1949 Waukegan Road did $10,000 in dam­ages to the Sears Service Center. Fire was at 9:48 A.M. and was believed to have been caused by an electri­cal problem.

DECEMBER 30, 1985 — Fire did $15,000 in damages in an early morning (3:19 A.M.) fire at 1135 Elmwood Place in Del Mar Woods. Fire was believed to have been caused by a building deficiency.

APRIL 13, 1986 — Fire of an unknown origin did an estimated $10,000 in dam­ages at 744 Jonquil Terrace. Fire was at 1:49 P.M. in the afternoon.

AUGUST 12, 1986 — Fire at 2105 Telegraph Road at 2:33 P.M. in the after­noon did $10,000 in damages. Fire was believed to have been started by roofers working on the roof.

DECEMBER 1, 1986 — Insurance Services Office (ISO) lowered insurance rating from a Class 5 to a Class 4 creating lower insurance rates and savings to the district taxpayers. Vil­lages are rated by ISO on a scale of 1 to 10. Class 1 would be the best (and almost impossible to ful­fill) and 10 being the worst with no fire protection.

JANUARY 20, 1987 — Engine 710 was delivered. Unit was a 1986 Pierce Ar­row manu­factured by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin. Unit cost $162,000, has a 1250 gallon per minute pump, and carries 750 gallons of water.

JANUARY 31, 1987 — Fire caused an estimated $75,000 in damages to a home at 737 Pine Street. The fire, which started at 5:37 P.M., was believed to have started from an electrical short. Vernon Fire Department was called for help.

APRIL 19, 1987 — Fire caused extensive damage to the Deerfield Park Dis­trict garage at 1201 Saunders Road. The garage housed all the golf carts and maintenance equipment for the golf course. The fire, which started at 6:44 P.M., was believed to have started by a short circuit in one of the golf carts. Damage was estimated at $65,000. A ” tanker box” was struck for more personnel and wa­ter supply.

JUNE 25, 1987 — Major fire at Amling’s Flowerland on the corner of Waukegan Road and Lake-Cook Road. The blaze which started at 4:45 P.M. caused major traffic problems be­cause of rush hour traffic. The blaze went to a second alarm and took nearly four hours to bring un­der control. Damage was estimated at $850,000 and was believed to have started from an elec­trical light fixture in an attic area.

AUGUST 11, 1987 — 781 was delivered. It was a 1987 Chevrolet Suburban and was as­signed to the Fire Prevention Bureau.

OCTOBER 31, 1987 — An unattended candle was believed to have started a blaze in a home at 707 Jonquil Terrace at 11:25 P.M. No one was home at the time of the fire. The loss was estimated at $50,000. Vernon Fire Department was called for aid.

NOVEMBER 25, 1987 — Fire destroyed the Twinkle Toes Boutique at 635 Deerfield Road. The fire, which started at 3:17 P.M., caused major traffic prob­lems resulting from Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. The rear of the store had an apartment, which was also totally burned. Fire communicated to the building to the east that was occupied by a real es­tate office. The fire was believed to have started in an electrical box in the rear of the building. The building, which was torn down after the fire, was one of the older buildings in the business dis­trict. Over the years, the building had been a jewelry store, Christian Science reading room, and several other businesses. The building was believed to have been built in the early 1920’s. Damages were estimated at $150,000. Highland Park, Vernon, and Northbrook Fire Depart­ments were called for help.

DECEMBER 30, 1987 — FF. Billy G. McKee was given a disability retirement due to a job related injury. FF. McKee completed twenty-four years of service with the Department.

FEBRUARY 29, 1988 — Fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damages to a mansion in Bannockburn at 1735 Wilmot Road. The fire, which started at 12:57 P.M., destroyed the third floor attic area of the home, which contained many valu­able antiques. A ” tanker box” was struck for additional personnel and water supply. It took firefighters until 5:30 P.M. to extinguish the blaze.

MARCH 6, 1988 — Sunday morning fire at 9:46 A.M. caused by roofers did an esti­mated $80,000 in damages to a home at 1645 Overland Trail. Highland Park Fire Department was called for help.

APRIL 24, 1988 — Early morning fire at 6:21 A.M. at 1223 Crabtree Lane. Neighbor found fire in the garage, which was attached to the house. Fire did an estimated $10,000 in dam­ages. Fire was believed to have started from discarded painting materials.

JUNE 5, 1988 — A 3rd alarm blaze caused 1.5 million dollars in damages to the Ban­nockburn Bath & Tennis Club at 2211 Waukegan Road. The blaze which started at 11:08 P.M. took most of the night to bring under control. The fire was believed to have started from an electrical light fixture in a hidden area over the women’s locker room. Firefighters were on the scene until 10:54 A.M. the follow­ing day.

AUGUST 1, 1988 — A 2nd alarm fire caused $360,000 in damages to a home at 1380 Valley Road. The fire started at 9:11 P.M. The fire was believed to have started from a defective outside floodlight. Major damage was done to the second floor and attic of the mansion. Because of the hot and humid weather, a special alarm was sounded for three extra squad companies to provide additional person­nel. One firefighter sustained a leg injury. Firefighters were on the scene until 11:17 A.M. the following day.

OCTOBER 1, 1988 — This date was the first retirement of full-time employ­ees from the Department. Capt. William O’Donnell and Lt. James Murphy retired after completing twenty years of full-time service. Both had earlier served on the volunteer department. Capt. O’Don­nell had twenty-three years of service. Lt. Murphy had twenty-five years of service.

JANUARY 26, 1989 — Fatal fire at 1230 Central Avenue claimed the life of Patrick F. Haworth, age thirty-six. Fire was of an undetermined origin and was re­ported at 12:11 P.M. Mr. Haworth lived with his twin brother who was home at the time of the fire and escaped injury. Toxicology reports showed that Mr. Haworth might have been under the influence of alcohol, which might have caused him to be unable to escape. Highland Park and Vernon Fire Depart­ment’s were called for help because of other alarms. One Deerfield firefighter received a cut hand from bat­tling the blaze.

MARCH 13, 1989 — Fire at 236 Landis Lane did an estimated $90,000 in dam­ages. The fire reported at 1:36 P.M. took several hours to bring under control. Fire was believed to have started in the kitchen.

MAY 6, 1989 — Engine 712 was re-delivered. It was re-furbished from 1977 Ward La­France to a 1989 Pierce Arrow with a 1250 gallon per minute pump and carried 750 gallons of water. Work was done by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin for $140,000.

JUNE 26, 1989 — Fire destroyed a home at 560 Brierhill Road. The fire, which was reported at 3:10 A.M., was of a suspicious nature. On arrival of the fire department, the home was fully involved with fire. A MABAS” box alarm” was called and struck out at 5:46 A.M. Fire­fighters were on the scene until 9:33 A.M. Damages were estimated at $300,000.

OCTOBER 19, 1989 — 1990 Oldsmobile Delta 88 sedan delivered. Vehicle was as­signed to the Fire Chief and was bought for $16,000 from Weil Oldsmobile in Libertyville, Illi­nois.

FEBRUARY 3, 1990 — Chief Jack Gagne retired after thirty years of serv­ice with the Department. Chief Gagne served on the volunteer department and had been the full-time Fire Chief for the past nineteen years. Of his many accom­plishments during his career as Chief, the most notable was the beginning of the paramedic program in 1974. It was the beginning of EMS (emergency medical service) as we know it today. Deputy Chief James Quinn was promoted to Fire Chief.

MAY 2, 1990 — FF. John G. Boess received a duty disability retirement due to a job re­lated injury. FF. Boess completed eighteen years of service with the Department.

AUGUST 19, 1990 — Lightning struck a home at 115 Manor Drive and did an estimated $25,000 in damages. Lightning striking the TV antenna caused the fire, reported at 8:26 P.M. Lightning then traveled to an outside gutter, then into a kitchen exhaust vent, and started a gas line fire behind the stove in the kitchen.

AUGUST 23, 1990 — Fire reported in a home at 12:41 A.M. at 511 Brierhill Road. The fire, which caused an estimated $30,000 in damages, was believed to have started from a defective dehumidifier in the basement. Occupants of the home were awakened by the smoke detectors and escaped injury.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1990 — Roofers started a fire at the 520 Building in the Corporate 500 Centre on Lake-Cook Road. The fire reported at 1:05 P.M. did an estimated $10,000 in dam­ages.

SEPTEMBER 27, 1990 — Reported ” car fire” which turned out to be in an at­tached ga­rage did an estimated $25,000 in damages to a home at 214 Fairview Avenue. The fire was re­ported at 7:24 P.M. was believed to have started in the engine area of the vehicle in the garage. Northbrook Fire Department called for help.

OCTOBER 10, 1990 — Illinois Bell Telephone Company put Enhanced 911 into service. When 911 is dialed, a call is sent to an emergency dispatcher. The ad­dress and tele­phone num­ber from where the call originated shows on a screen. The screen also shows the po­lice, fire, and medical agency that is responsible for serv­ice to the calling location.

OCTOBER 16,1990 Kenneth Koerber Hired to the position of Firefighter/Paramedic

OCTOBER 21, 1990 — Early morning 2:38 A.M. basement fire at 128 Plum­tree Road did an estimated $25,000 in damages. Occupants of the home were awakened by their smoke detectors and reported the fire on 911. This was the first working fire that the Department had received on the new 911-phone system. Fire was believed to have started from an electrical short. The Northbrook Fire Department was called for assistance.

DECEMBER 3, 1990 — Two new Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances were de­livered. Two Ford/Horton units were traded in for two 1990 Ford/Road Rescue units. They were bought for $61,383.80 each from Road Rescue Corpora­tion in St. Paul, Minnesota.

MAY 3, 1991 — Engine 711 was delivered. The unit was a 1991 Pierce Arrow with a 1250 gallon per minute pump and carried 750 gallons of water. It was bought for $194,000 from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin.

APRIL 8, 1991 — Lightning struck the Bannockburn Green Retail Center at 2525 Waukegan Road during a severe storm and did an estimated $30,000 in dam­ages. The fire started on the cupola in the middle and was inaccessible because of the height. The Highland Park Fire Department ladder truck was called for help as Deerfield’s truck was ” out of service” for repairs. The alarm was reported at 8:30 P.M. and firefighters were on the scene for several hours.

MAY 16, 1991 — Fire did an estimated $40,000 damage to a home at 357 Kingston Ter­race at 1:13 P.M. The fire started from a faulty electric service com­ing into the building. The building was vacant as the owner had re­cently passed away and the home was be­ing sold.

NOVEMBER 19, 1991 — Lt. Robert A. Douglas received a duty disability retire­ment due to a job-related illness. Lt. Douglas completed twenty-three years of service with the De­partment.

NOVEMBER 21, 1991 — FF. John M. Cope received a duty disability retire­ment due to a job-related illness. FF. Cope completed fifteen years of service with the Department.

DECEMBER 19, 1991 — Capt. Thomas S. Wilson retired with almost thirty years of serv­ice with the Department.

DECEMBER 29, 1991 — Fire claimed the life of Margaret M. Anderson, 77, in a house fire at 1444 Somerset Avenue. The Sunday morning fire reported at 8:22 A.M. was believed to have been caused by careless smoking. Mrs. Anderson was a life-long resi­dent of Deerfield and had been a school nurse in Deerfield for over thirty years. After her re­tirement, she became bedridden and had a full-time live-in companion who discovered and re­ported the fire. The companion was injured in the fire and treated for smoke inhalation. Fire did an es­timated $50,000 in damages.

FEBRUARY 2, 1992 — An early Sunday morning fire at 6:44 A.M. did an es­timated $100,000 in damages to a home at 1190 Greenwood Avenue. The fire started from a defective furnace. The fire made considerable headway before being detected because the family was not at home. A passing police car discov­ered the fire. Police officers smelled some smoke in the area during the night but could not find the source. One firefighter and one po­lice officer were slightly in­jured battling the blaze.

MARCH 3, 1992 — New pick-up truck delivered with four-wheel drive and a snow­plow.

AUGUST2,1992–Richard A. Bekielewski Jr. was hired as a new Firefighter/Paramedic.

AUGUST 3, 1992 — At 5:12 P.M. a major auto accident caused the Illinois Tollway (I-94) to be shut down and traffic snarled for several hours. When fire­fighters and paramedics ar­rived, they found two vehicles upside down with passen­gers trapped inside. A third vehicle was upright, but had major damage. A second alarm for a life safety box was requested. Nine patients were taken to area hospi­tals. One pa­tient died from injuries and a second patient was in critical condition for some time af­ter the accident.

SEPTEMBER 17, 1992 — Fire did an approximately $100,000 in damages to a home at 826 Pine Street. The fire was discovered by a passing police car at 12:43 A.M. Firefighters spent most of the night battling the blaze. The home was built in 1924 and was under renovation. The home was being rewired and the fire was believed to have started in the basement from faulty wiring. The home was unoc­cupied so the fire was burning for some time before being discov­ered.

NOVEMBER 25, 1992 ­­¾ Fire did approximately $550,000 damage to a home at 1700 Hickory Knoll Road. The fire was discovered at 4:42 A.M. by neighbors. Upon arrival, the fire department found the home engulfed in flames. A second alarm was sounded for tankers. Firefighters were on the scene until 1:30 P.M. ex­tinguishing the blaze.

NOVEMBER 24, 1993 — Fire in a vacant home was discovered at 8:02 P.M. by a pass­ing motorist at 1680 Deerfield Road. The home was being renovated for new owners. The fire did an estimated $30,000 in damages.

OCTOBER 10, 1994 — Fire at 2000 Telegraph Road did an estimated $65,000 in dam­ages. A passing motorist at 9:22 A.M discovered the fire. After the fire was extinguished, it was apparent that there were numerous fires set by an unknown person at this location.

MAY 17, 1996 — A second alarm fire at 1680 Hickory Knoll Road. The fire started at 3:46 A.M. and took two hours to extinguish. The fire was started from light­ning during a severe storm.

JUNE 18, 1996 — Station #20 at 500 Waukegan Road officially opened for business. It was officially dedicated on July 24, 1996. The new modern facility is approximately 36,800 square feet. In addition to the administrative of­fices, the station was built to house ten firefight­ers on duty twenty-four hours a day. The first re­sponse out of the station was at 3:17 P.M. The call was for a fire alarm at 391 Kelburn Road.

OCTOBER 3, 1996 — FF. William L. Biaggi retired after twenty-six years of service with the Department.

NOVEMBER 2, 1996 — Two firefighters received minor injuries at an extra alarm fire at 1314 Barclay Lane. The fire started at 11:01 P.M. and was believed to have been caused by a defective chimney. Damages were estimated at $110,000.

NOVEMBER 29, 1996 — Extra alarm fire at 11 Kenmore Avenue started at 9:32 P.M. On arrival, companies could see flames coming from the second floor. The fire did an estimated $175,000 in damages. It was started by an unattended candle left burning while the residents were out for the evening.

NOVEMBER 30, 1996 — Early morning extra alarm fire injured the home­owner at 255 Pine Street. Upon arrival, the fire department found the two-story home fully engulfed in flames. It was determined to be a total loss and has since been rebuilt. The fire was reported at 3:20 A.M. The fire was determined to have been caused by careless smoking

DECEMBER 4, 1996 — Lt. Robert P. Wendt received a duty disability retire­ment due to a job-related injury. Lt. Wendt completed twenty-two years of serv­ice with the Department.

FEBRUARY 15, 1997 — FF. George A. Banes retired after completing twenty-three years of serv­ice with the Department.

APRIL 11, 1997 — Vandals set fire to the garage attached to a vacant home at 1995 Saunders Road. The fire started at 11:36 P.M. and did an estimated $30,000 in damages.

JUNE 6, 1997 — Fire did an estimated $35,000 in damages to an apartment building at 934 Waukegan Road. The fire was reported at 1:29 A.M. Upon arrival, first companies found an occu­pant sitting on the second floor window ledge waiting to be rescued. Fire was believed to be incendiary in origin.

MAY 28, 1998 — A garage fire at 1035 Summit Drive started at 1:29 P.M. The fire was started from spontaneous combustion from discarded floor refinish­ing ma­terials.

JUNE 16, 1998 — Firefighters Robert Toporek, Charles Glees, and James Bednarz pro­moted to the rank of Lieutenant. Michael Patten, Andy Hamilton, Brad Hytoff, Joel Antman, Sean Wilson, and Raymond Larson hired as full-time employ­ees. Keith J. Patterson appointed to a newly created position of Di­rector of Public Education.

JULY 6, 1998 — Station #19 opened for business (9,800 square feet) at 1935 Half Day Road. The station was built to house five firefighters on duty twenty-four hours a day. The first response for Engine 19 was for a fire alarm at Trinity International University at 9:59 P.M.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1998 — Station at 839 Deerfield Road was torn down to make way for a new shopping center to be called Deerfield Square.

OCTOBER 23, 1998 — A new Ambulance 20 was delivered. Approximate cost was cost $111,000. The unit is a 1998 Road Rescue mounted on an International chas­sis. The old Ambulance 20 was placed in reserve status and became A-20R.

FEBRUARY 10, 1999 — A fire in an apartment building at 934 Waukegan Road was dis­covered at 1:29 A.M. One resident was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. The fire was of a suspicious nature.

JUNE 25,1999 — A fire at 1333 Greenwood Avenue was caused by roofers using a torch re­placing the roof. The fire caused an approximate $15,000 in dam­ages and was reported at 4:58 P.M.

JANUARY 9, 2000 — 2580 Telegraph Road. This was the first major fire in the newly formed District 19. Engine 19 had water on the fire long before the ar­rival of Engine 20. This short response time definitely decreased the loss to the structure. The extra alarm fire, which started in the kitchen, caused $150,000 in damages.

JANUARY 11, 2000 — Philip C. Bettiker, after thirty-six years of service as a paid-on-call firefighter, took a leave of absence to be appointed trustee of the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District

JANUARY 13, 2000 — A garage fire at 11 Birchwood Avenue started at 6:06 P.M. The two-car garage was attached to the house and caused $45,000 in dam­ages.

JANARY 30, 2000 — An early morning extra alarm fire caused $400,000 in damages to a home at 513 Elm Street. The fire started at 5:57 A.M. and was be­lieved to have started in the fireplace, which had been burning all night. Winter conditions and the advancement of the fire before being detected hampered fire­fighters.

MAY 23, 2000 — Fire at 1064 Kenton Road did an estimated $50,000 in damages. A burning candle accidentally left unattended caused the fire.

JUNE 30, 2000 — FF. Alfred L. (Sonny) Gastfield retired after completing forty-four years of service with the Department. FF. Gastfield joined the all-vol­unteer force on June 10, 1956. He served for twelve years as a volunteer fire­fighter. He was one of the original first full-time employees starting on October 1, 1968. He served for thirty-two years as a career fire­fighter.

JULY 27, 2000 — A structure fire occurred at 1190 Elmwood Place in Del Mar Woods. The alarm was received at 1:06 P.M. The fire started in the laundry room area and did approximately $50,000 in damages.

OCTOBER 9, 2000 ­­— Brian J. McCarthy, Jeremy S. Ziebka, & Jeffery D. Hackman were hired as new employees.

DECEMBER 31, 2000 — A structure fire at 1735 W. Summit Ct. did an esti­mated $150,000 in damages.

JANUARY 1, 2001 — Capt. George Coit promoted was to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief. Lt. Mark Mitchell was promoted to the rank of Captain. Fire­fighter/Paramedic Ken Koerber was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

MARCH 27, 2001 ­­— A new Ambulance 19 was placed in service. It is a 2001 Road Rescue unit mounted on a Ford Chassis. The unit cost approximately $111,000. The old Am­bulance 19 was sold the Iuka Fire Department in Iuka, Illi­nois.

MARCH 30, 2001 ­­— Fire did an estimated $30,000 in damages to a garage at 1022 Broadmoor Pl. The alarm was received at 11:58 A.M. and the fire started from the radiant heat of a stove.

APRIL 15, 2001 — An early morning extra alarm fire caused $100,000 in dam­ages at a home at 70 Shenandoah Road. The fire started at 2:23 A.M. and was be­lieved to have started from an electrical short in the main electrical panel.

JUNE 7, 2001 ­­— Fire did an estimated $100,000 in damages to a home at 904 North­woods Dr. The fire started at 6:23 P.M. while the family was in Italy on vacation.

JULY 9, 2001 ­­— An early morning fire at 4:24 A.M. did an estimated $30,000 in dam­ages to a home at 515 Shannon Rd. The fire started in a bedroom possibly caused by a candle.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 — Squad 19 delivered. The rescue unit is a 2002 Pierce Encore mounted on a Navistar chassis. In addition to rescue equipment, the unit carries equipment for all specialty teams. Technical rescue, hazardous materi­als, and dive team equipment are carried on the vehicle. The unit cost was $216,021. Part of the funds used to purchase the unit were obtained through the Illi­nois FIRST Funds. Through the generosity of Senator Terry Link, State Sena­tor 30th District, $100,000 of ” Illinois First” money was used. In addition, through the generosity of Representative Lauren Beth Gash, State Representative 60th District, an addi­tional $30,000 was used.

OCTOBER 16, 2001 ­­— Richard G. Gallavan and William F. Crawford were hired as new firefighter/paramedics.

OCTOBER 21, 2001 ­­— Fire did an estimated $30,000 in damages to the out­side of a home at 458 Longfellow Rd. The fire started in a trashcan and was dis­covered at 11:55 P.M.

NOVEMBER 8, 2001 ­­— Fire did an estimated $64,000 in damages to a home at 1142 Deerfield Rd. The fire was discovered at 8:50 P.M. The fire was believed to have started on the outside from a short in the gutter wiring.

DECEMBER 19, 2001 ­­— Fire did an estimated $185,000 in damages to a home at 1133 Davis St. The fire was discovered at 1:44 P.M.

MARCH 16, 2002 ­­— Joseph W. Bass was hired as a new fire­fighter/paramedic.

MAY 1, 2002 — At 7:00 A.M. the Department dispatch service switched to RED Center.
This communications center is known as the Re­gional Emergency Dispatch Center or RED Center. RED Center is used to interconnect nine suburban fire de­partments into a combined cooperative of fire and EMS personnel being dispatched from a central office. It is the only one of its kind in the Chicago metro­politan area. Since its inception in 1977, RED Center has proven its ability to provide fast, effective emergency medical service and fire response to emergencies. Partici­pating fire departments have found that in addition to the effectiveness of the dispatch cen­ter itself, the cost sharing type of operation allows for the purchase and mainte­nance of high-tech equipment at a minimum expense to each individual member.

RED Center has a unique response system. It is an integrated, multi-juris­dictional organi­zation. It fa­cilitates an efficient and cost effective method for deliver­ing fire suppression and emer­gency medical service. RED provides the clos­est station response regardless of municipal bound­ary.

RED Center was initially located in the Niles Fire Department Headquarters Station. In 1980, the dis­patch center was relocated to a more secure and cen­tralized location in the lower level of the Glenview Fire Station #6. In 1991, when 9-1-1 became available, RED Center be­came a secondary Public Safety Answering Point. In December 2001, RED Center became its own entity. A separate building was built at 1842 Shermer Road in Northbrook, Illinois where RED now operates.

July 4, 2002 ­­— The newly formed fire department honor guard makes debut appearance in Fourth of July Parade. The honor guard marched with flags and ceremonial axes, the tools of a firefighters trade. The honor guard involves fol­lowing strict protocol of saluting, marching commands, and symbolic uniforms. Members of the Honor Guard are:

Dir. Keith Patterson (Coordinator) FF. Brian McCarthy
FF. Rick Bekielewski FF. Mark McManaman
FF. Jeff Hackman FF. Mike Patten
FF. Jeff Kates FF. Jim Philip
FF. Vic Kulikauskas FF. Jeremy Ziebka

SEPTEMBER 11, 2002 ¾ Remberence ceremony on the lawn of the Deerfield Village Hall to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Cen­ter, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania.

The ceremony included a bell ceremony that is only used at firefighters fu­nerals. The bell ringing at the commemoration was timed to coincide exactly when the times that the first and second twin towers fell in New York: 9:05 A.M. Cen­tral time and 9:26 Central time. The five rings (three times) represent the last alarm of a firefighter.

At 9:06 A.M., the flags were lowered to half-mast; at 9:29 A.M., they were raised again to full-mast.

October 16, 2002 ­­— Two new paramedic equipped Pierce/Dash engines were delivered. The engines are equipped with advanced life support and extrication equipment. The cost was $350,775 each.

January 18, 2003 ­­— Engine 19 was sold to Meta Fire & Rescue from Meta, Missouri. Engine 20R was sold to Colton Fire Department in Colton, Washington.

February 17, 2003 ­­— Thomas J. Gutknecht was hired as a new fire­fighter/paramedic.

May 12, 2003 — Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) was here for four days to evaluate the Department. ISO is the principle provider of insurance underwriting, rating and statistical information to the insurance industry in the United States. One of the key information elements that insurers use in the underwriting and rating process for property insurance policies is ISO’s classification of a jurisdiction’s fire protection delivery system. Information regarding the fire department, water supply, fire alarm system, and fire protection area boundaries are critical to insurers providing insurance coverage to citizens of the community.
ISO collects information on a community’s public fire protection and analyzes the data using the Fire Protection Rating Schedule. ISO then assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary public protection and Class 10 indicates less than the minimum recognized.

The evaluation occurs approximately every fifteen years. In 1986, the District was rated at a Class 4. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the District was rated at a fire protection classification of Class 3. This is the highest classification that can be obtained for a Department of this size. The new Class 3 rating was became official on May 1, 2004.

July 14, 2003 — New Ford pick-up truck delivered. Purchased from Bredmann Ford in Glenview for $22,816.00. Included with the truck was a snowplow and four wheel drive.

February 7, 2004 — FF. Larry A. Alexander retired after completing over thirty-five years of dedicated service with the Department as a paid-on-call firefighter.

February 19, 2004 — A new Ambulance 20 was placed in service. It is a 2003 Road Rescue unit mounted on a Ford Chassis. The unit cost approximately $102,000. The old Ambulance 20R was sold to the Fire Department in Iuka, Illinois and will be replaced by Ambulance 20 now becoming Ambulance 20R.

March 1, 2004 — FF. Vincent N. Carani was hired as new firefighter/paramedic.

MAY 1, 2004 — Fire at 1232 Linden Avenue did an estimated $250,000 in damages. Fire was believed to have been started by an electrical short.

May 18, 2004 — FF. Robert G. Aitchison retired after completing over twenty-two years of dedicated service with the Department as a career firefighter and paramedic.

June 2, 2004 — Capt. Mark D. Mitchell retired after completing over twenty-five years of dedicated service with the Department. During most of his career, Capt. Mitchell served as a command officer and medical officer for the Department.

June 18, 2004 — A new Truck 20 was placed in service. The unit is a 105-foot aerial ladder truck that will replace a 1984 aerial unit. In addition to state of the art equipment, some of the safety features include a special camera system that allows the driver to monitor road traffic both behind the vehicle and along side of it. A special sensor tells the driver when the vehicle is an approaching object while backing up. The unit was bought for approximately $650,000 and was manufactured in Appleton, Wisconsin by Pierce Manufacturing. The Fire District received a special grant through the United States Fire Administration that covered a portion of the cost.

July 1, 2004 — James M. Dalgaard was hired as a new firefighter/paramedic.

July 16, 2004 — Gregory K. Zahn was hired as a new firefighter/paramedic.

October 1, 2004 — Lt. Robert W. Toporek promoted to the rank of Captain. FF. James A. Philip promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

April 15, 2005 — Two new Ford Explorers were placed in service as staff vehicles. They replaced a 1992 Ford Tempo and a 1995 Chevrolet Astro Van.

May 1, 2005 — Micah F. Montondo was hired as a new firefighter/paramedic.

June 16, 2005 — The Board of Trustees adopted an ordinance changing a rank designation. The rank of Captain was changed to Battalion Chief. Battalion Chief’s will continue to serve in the capacity of Shift Commander.

June 16, 2005 — Lt. Richard L. Roshto retired after completing thirty years of dedicated service with the Department. During most of his career, Lt. Roshto served as a company officer for the Department.

June 17, 2005 — FF. James Victor promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.


Exerpts taken from “HISTORY OF DEERFIELD ILLINOIS” by Marie Ward Reichelt. Printed August 1927. Incomplete and sketchy accounts are here recorded.
Several children have died of burns. Two were daughters of pioneers. In 1875 Ada Miller when about five years of age, was playing about a bonfire when her dress ignited by the flames. She started to run around the house that increased her danger. Phillip Hale saw her, took off his coat, and wrapped it around her. She severely was so burned that she died in a few hours. In 1915 Alma Hoyt while reaching for some snow to melt on the stove, accidentally allowed her dress to catch on fire from the stove. She died about a week afterward.

In the early 1870’s George Vetter’s grocery store burned. It was on the site of the house now occupied by Milton Franz on Deerfield Road.

Edward Bleimehl’s father owned a saloon that stood about where the Sca­vuzzo building is now. It was burnt one night and a pious woman was accused of setting it on fire.

One of the early disastrous fires was that of the stables on the C.G. Muhlke farm in 1879 when a number of valuable racehorses lost their lives.

A fire on the Christian Ott farm deprived the family of house and home. The farm was later the home of a son, Louis Ott, and was on a road north and west of Deerfield. [Ravinia Green Country Club] Florence Hoffman, daughter of Louis Ott, told me that the fire had started from a match thrown out in the hay outside the house. She told me that they kept hay around the outside of the house to keep cold drafts from coming in. They were lighting the wood stove and thought the match was out.

A blaze on the Samuel Fritsch farm, caused by a fire through the chimney, destroyed the house and barns in the early 1900’s.

In March 1901, a terrible disaster occurred when all the telegraph poles from Chicago to Milwaukee were blown down. It was an economic blessing in dis­guise to the village as it took the repair people over a year to put the lines in shape again, and part of the little house on Waukegan Road, owned by Peter Juhrend, was used as a telegraph supply station. When Silas Sherman died on March 13, 1901, it took over twenty-four hours to get a message through to Libertyville.

Dreher’s greenhouse was destroyed by a tornado and their violet crop was ruined. The barn of Frank Sack was blown away and the horses in it left standing in their places. Kettles were lifted off the stove in Ed Bleimehl’s house. This storm also destroyed the Biederstadt chicken house, and lifted the house off its foundations, but set it down again.


The home of George Karch, built by David Fritsch at the corner of Deerfield Road and Chestnut Street, was burnt in a Sunday morning fire that started in the attic.

John Hagil’s wagon shed burned in the fall of 1908 and on May 8, 1909, his barn with surrey went up in flames.

The big barn on the W. M. Reay farm, which had also been the Muhlke prop­erty, was entirely consumed by fire about 1916.

The Lake County Register of Saturday, November 19, 1917, had this account of the burning of the Deerfield Train Station:

Fire from crossed electric wires almost demolished the Deerfield station on the Chi­cago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul R.R. Tuesday morning. Two women of the neighbor­hood in breakfast caps and morning dresses, saved the ex­press packages by placing them in a zone of safety, before the men of the volunteer fire department came, which was entirely inadequate to fighting the terrific blaze caused by the burning of the ceiled building, which with the varnish and thick paint, made a most spectacular fire. Be­cause the Highland Park Fire Department is a paid one, and as the recent private fires which the department was called, no remuneration was made, the Highland Park de­partment did not wish to respond to the call, and only when told of the extreme urgency of the case did the men come. An addi­tional water pressure had to be demanded also. Part of the freight room was saved, the remainder being a total wreck. A northeast wind that in­creased in velocity as the flames spread carried the embers for a great dis­tance. Wednesday morning workers began rebuilding the structure.

Fire destroyed the fine home of W.E. Beecham a mile west of the train sta­tion on Deerfield Road. The house was of stucco on tile with fireproof shingles. Smoke was discovered about 8:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning and the Deerfield fire engine was called. Neighbors saved some furniture from the first floor, but the raging north wind, which fanned the flames into a fury while the temperature hovered around zero, completed the destruction. The shingles did not burn but were melted.

A tornado destroyed the Kottrasch greenhouses on South Railway Avenue.

Thomas Duffy’s barn was burned in 1918. John A. Reichelt’s barn about 1918 and Dr. Davis’ barn in 1920 were spectacular fires.

The barn on the E.B. Jordan farm, also the pump house, was burned. A little house on the Dr. A.R. Warner estate, then occupied by Dr. Bailey, was destroyed and all of its contents.

The Henry Bubert barn was destroyed by fire.

In August a fire staring in a large barn on the old Easton farm near the south limits of Deerfield on Waukegan Road about 8:30 P.M. on a Sunday night quickly spread to three other barns, resulting in damage estimated at $15,000 and injury to a fireman. The flames spread rap­idly and despite the efforts of the Deerfield and Northbrook fire department’s the four buildings were destroyed. W. Cooksey, member of the Northbrook Fire Department, was injured when the nozzle of a hose escaped his grasp and struck him in the head. He was believed to have suffered a concussion of the brain. He was taken to the Highland Park Hospi­tal. The barns had been used by a group of men who had been storing hay. Over sixty tons of hay and several sets of harness and two wagons were destroyed in the fire.

The former icehouse of the Matt Horenberger store that was used by Al­bert Antes, after he installed iceless refrigeration, which served the same pur­poses for the three successive own­ers, including Henry Gastfield, burst into flames in the middle of the night, and a big touring car was destroyed. Fortunately, the efficient fire department of this period prevented the de­struction of the other frame buildings near it.