History of the Department
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On July 15, 1893 the City of Elmhurst officially formed the Volunteer Fire Department. In 1884 the first firehouse was built on Schiller Street. The Volunteers consisted of a Marshall, Assistant Marshall, hook and ladder men, hose men, saw men and bucket men. The equipment consisted of a wheeled hose reel, a horse drawn hand pumper, a horse drawn ladder and a pail wagon.

In 1910, the village changed from village to city government.

In 1921, the City of Elmhurst purchased the Seagrave pumper. One of the first gasoline powered fire apparatus. It was purchased in February of 1921 for $9,750. The first call made by this vehicle was at the home of August Hinz on Larch Avenue.

In 1924 the city council voted to put on the first full time paid fireman. The fireman and his family lived on the 2nd floor above the firehouse on Schiller St. The Department now carried a roster of 25 volunteers.

In 1941 the south side firehouse was built to hold one piece of fire apparatus. This station was located at 536 Division Street.

In 1954 the firehouse on Schiller Street was torn down and was replaced with a 2-bay station on the same site.

In 1967 Mr. James E. Samuelson became the first full-time Fire Chief after the City passed an ordinance to establish the position.

In 1970 a new addition was added to the Schiller Street firehouse and soon after that in 1972, a new facility was built, Firehouse #3 to cover the north side of Elmhurst. It was located at 896 N. York Street.

The three fire stations were equipped with 11 pieces of fire apparatus, a light wagon and a Civil Defense van. The Fire Department now had a roster of 38 men.

In 1976, Richard Swanson was named Fire Chief and the Fire Department entered the world of emergency medicine, specifically paramedics. An agreement was entered between Superior Ambulance and the City of Elmhurst. Due to the demand for services, in 1985 a second ambulance was put into service at Fire Station #2.

In 1980 the old Station 2 on Division Street was demolished and the current Station 2 was constructed at its present site at 605 S. York Street.

In 1988 the Fire Department was evaluated by Insurance Rating Organization (ISO) and received a #2 rating, which was unheard of at that time. The #2 Rating was the best rating in Du Page County.

1990 Chief Swanson retired and was replaced by Chief John Fennell. During his tenure as Fire Chief, the firefighters joined the union and the first formal agreement was signed between the City of Elmhurst and Local #3541 International Association of Firefighters in 1993. Upon the retirement of Chief Fennell in 1998, Robert Gallas was named the new Fire Chief.

In 2000, the first addition of staffing since 1970 occurred. Chief Gallas hired six additional full-time staff. This was the end of an era for the Elmhurst Paid on Call firefighters.

Michael Kopp, served as the Deputy Chief under Chief Gallas and took over the administrative tasks as Fire Chief of the Fire Department in 2002.

Jeff Bacidore took the reins of the Elmhurst Fire Department in May, 2012 and retired in February, 2016.