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History

  The Grayslake Volunteer Fire Department was duly organized on the 26th of December, 1899 with the following members:F.C. Wilbur, G.M. Fitch, T.E. Stevens, O.C. Johnson, O. Washburn, Clarence Wooley, Vernon Vam Plew, Ray Murrie, Louis Sherman, F.W. Benduhn, H.M. Lang, D.G. White, E.F. Shaffer, F. Fisher, C.O. Smith, J.F. Morrill, Thos. Meade, Geo. A. Fredericks, A.A. Mcmillen, L.C. Ritta, O. Richardson, D. Sinclair, G.E. Strang, E. Wilmington, Philip Flerry, Geo. Thurlwell, Lynn Murrie, W. Hintz, J.W. Acker, H.H. Neville, A.D. Buell, F.D. Battershall, P.A. Robinson, George Thomson, John F. Morse, F.D. Fritsch, J. Seescholtz, J. Washburn, E.B. Sherman, W.M. Emmons, Percy Boyd, Floyd Harvey, Harry Lusk, R. Wilmington, Lee Strang, A.W. Harvey, J.J. Lang, Orvin Marble, O.P. Barron, W.W. Edwards, E.F. Harvey.The following officers were elected:Chief - G.M. FitchPresident - F.C. WilburSecretary - Geo. FredericksTreasurer - J.F. MorseHook & Ladder Foreman - A.A. McMillenHose Cart No. 1 - D.G. White (Foreman)Hose Cart no. 2 - Louis Sherman (Foreman)Pump No. 1 - John Morse (Foreman)Pump No. 2 - W.H. Brandsetter (Foreman)

Through the Years

  • 1/2/1901 - Decision made to hold first dance, Subscription taken by Judge Fitch to purchase a Fire Bell for the Village hall

  • 2/7/1901 - Dance committee reported profit of $84.00 from first annual dance. Three piece orchestra cost $9.00

  • 4/10/1901 - Decision made that first arriving man should ring bell as long and as fast as he could. A.A. McMillen appointed Fire Marshal

  • 2/2/1902 - First Big Fire at the Gardiniers Livery Barn. Hand pumpers were the only equipment used

  • 9/14/1904 - Purchase of uniforms for members

  • 3/3/1905 - Donated $200 to village to pay for gasoline pumper purchased second hand from Waukegan. John Washburn appointed Stoker for the engine.

  • 5/1/1907 - Purchased two speaking trumpets

  • 6/5/1907 - First hose cart purchased by village

  • 11/3/1907 - Two percent on fire insurance first collected on this day

  • 10/1910 - Firemen are to be allowed .50¢ per hour each for fire calls-soon after price raised to $1.00 per hour

  • 2/1921 - St. Patrick's night selected as date for first annual dance

  • 8/2/1921 - Department talks about purchasing fire truck. Members visit the Peter Pirsch & Company factory in Kenosha, WI

  • 11/21/1921 - Article inserted into the times asking for donations to help purchase Ford motor driven combination truck and pumper just purchased from the Waterous company

  • 8/5/1927 - New fire truck purchased from Peter Pirsch & Company in Kenosha for $6,560 complete. $1,000 received in trade for old fire truck with balance to be paid in yearly notes. (Paid in full 4/5/1931, two years early)

  • 10/4/1927 - Group insurance purchased to cover men on duty. Two adapters purchased to enable us to assist the Village of Round Lake in case of a fire there. Department  instrumental in forming Lake County Firemen's Association

  •  5/11/1937 - Purchased two ton International truck with cab from Ike Lusk Implement Co. Peter Pirsch Co. outfitted same for service, complete cost $2,500

  • 4/2/1940 - Department incorporated and registered

  • 5/7/1940 - First aid Instruction given for the first time by Clare Gleason from the American Red Cross

  • 12/7/1941 - (Pearl Harbor Day) Foundation poured for new fire station on west side of the Village Hall. Building 24 feet by 50 feet, completed March 20, 1943-cost $2,000

  • 10/6/1942 - McFarlane Apartments at Highland Lake burned down. Firemen put in 111 hours of labor

  • 5/1/1945 - Purchased a Dodge truck with 1,000 gallon tank and front end pump from Rockenbach Chevrolet-Cost $1,400. This vehicle was later sold to Rockland Fire Department in June 1950 for $800

  • 5/6/1947 - Gages Lake Association gave a siren to install at Rockenbach's garage at the south end of town. Chief McMillen presented gold badges to each member in honor of his 80th birthday and his 48th year as chief

  • 6/1949 - State and County paid tribute to Chief A.A. McMillen at an all day festival on "McMillen Day" celebrating his 50 years as a Grayslake fireman

  • 6/1952 - Radio alarm system installed with individual receivers in members homes and transmitter installed in Gelatin Factory and mobile transmitters installed trucks 2 & 3. Cost $2,386.00

  • 4/1953 - Erected new fire station addition consisting of three bays 42 feet by 63 feet, washroom facilities. With volunteer labor total cost was $14,100.

  • 5/1954 - Addition to rear of fire station 50 feet by 30 feet shared with village on cost and garage space

  • 12/31/1955 - Wilbur Lumber Company burned on New Years Eve. Fire loss estimated at $250,000, six fire departments present: Round Lake, Libertyville, Mundelein, Fox Lake, Lake Villa & Barrington

  • 7/1958 - Rescue truck overturned responding to the Jones barn on Rt.83. Damage approx. $700.00

  • 1/1/1959 - Burgess Vibrocrafters fire New Years day with a total fire loss of $850,000. Mundelein, Countryside and Round Lake fire departments responded with aid

  • 8/1960 - Youth critically injured igniting home as prank. Ignited home with gasoline and fuel oil mixture. House on Lake Street next to High School was scheduled to burn

  • 5/1963 - Put into service new 750 gallon per minute pumper, Chevrolet Chassis built by Howe Fire Apparatus Co. at a cost of $23,000.00. Transfer of former truck equipment to new truck brought total cost to $28,900.00

  • 12/1963 - Elderly couple, son and firemen overcome by carbon-monoxide from un-vented commercial water heater being repaired

  •  2/1965 - New Thunderbolt siren installed at Village Hall by Civil Defense and Village at cost of $3,500

  • 3/1965 - Williams home destroyed in Arbor Vista Subdivision. $50,000 loss.

  • 10/1965 - Man fatally burned while in process of welding asphalt tank. Explosion ruptured 13,000 gallon tank

  • 5/1966 - Department awarded 1st place trophy, Commercial truck Competition at Wauconda on truck 756, Lake County Firemen's Association Convention

  • 1/1967 - Pirsch pumper (1927) officially retired and presented to the Jay-cees for placement in the Grayslake Park

  • 1970 - Grayslake Bowling Alley Burns

  • 1974 - Paramedic program instituted

  • 1974 - Four Grayslake maintenance workers died in a sewer accident. James Pech, Tommy Dungan, Wayne Alesi and John Hertel were overcome by lethal fumes in a sewer chamber while trying to unclog sludge from a lift station on Hillside Avenue. James Pech and Wayne Alesi were Grayslake Firefighters.

  • 1976 - Grayslake Fire Protection District formed

  • 1981 - First full time employee hired working days. He worked 6 days in a row and then had 2 days off. This was later changed to working 6 days then having 3 days off. The employee, Don Mobley, given that position in 1994, retired in 2008 

  • 1990 - 24 hour shifts started providing protection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

  • 1994 - Chief R.S. Rockenbach retires after 48 years with the department. Don Mobley appointed Fire Chief

  • 1994 - Final St. Patrick's Day dance held. Dance cancelled due to concerns over the serving of Alcohol

  • 2004 - Fire Station number 2 opens dramatically improving response times to the eastern portion of the fire district. The station is equipped with 3 personnel responding as both a fire and paramedic crew

  • 2008 - Referendum passed and work begins locating property for Fire Station #3

  • 2008 - Fire Chief Don Mobley retires after 29 years of service. John Christian appointed Fire Chief

  • 2012 - On May 7th, 2012 the Grayslake Fire protection District opens Station #3 to serve the southern portion of the district. The station is staffed 24 hours a day

  • 2015 - Deputy Chief Greg Formica retires after 30 years of service

  • 2017 - The Grayslake Fire Protection District currently employs 33 full time employees. Of these there are currently 3 shifts consisting of 9 Firefighter / Paramedics, 1 Battalion Chief and 3 Lieutenants. There is also 5 daytime personnel working Monday thru Friday from 8-5. These personnel include the Chief, Deputy Chief, 2 fire inspectors, and an Administrative Secretary. Supplementing the full time staff are 30 part time and paid on premise personnel certified by the State Fire Marshals office to at least Basic Operations Firefighter and Illinois Public Health certified EMT-Basic. All new hires are required to be paramedics.

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