Fire Department Program Information
The Village of Hinsdale Fire Department, established in 1893, is a full-time municipal fire department under the authority of the Village President and Board of Trustees of the Village of Hinsdale. The members of the Hinsdale Fire Department are both dedicated and highly skilled in providing both emergency and non-emergency services to the community. Due to the wide variety of services provided, the Fire Department is now realistically an emergency services department.
In August of 2010, the Village of Hinsdale entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement to share Fire and EMS Services with the Village of Clarendon Hills. While this is not a consolidation of both Fire Departments into one, it is an agreement for both Villages to share services, personnel, equipment, apparatus, support vehicles, and ambulances for the delivery of services to both communities. Each community still maintains their individual mutual aid agreements and membership in the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS).
The Hinsdale Fire Department takes great pride in providing quality services to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Hinsdale Fire Department at (630) 789-7060 or via e-mail or stop by the Fire Station, located at 121 Symonds Drive.
|• Fire Suppression/Rescue
• Emergency Medical Services
• Mutual Aid Assistance
• Fire Prevention
• Fire Education
• Emergency Management
• Specialized Teams
• Response Statistics
• Shared Fire Services
• Fire/EMS Training
Fire Suppression & Rescue
Fire suppression and rescue activities for the Village of Hinsdale Fire Department include response to several types of fire related conditions. In addition to responding to structural related fires, the fire department responds to fires involving vehicles, brush or grass; refuse containers, and other fires that occur. Fire suppression activities also include investigating situations that are fire related such as automatic fire alarm activations, smoke or odor investigations, power line or transformer problems, and flammable fuel spills or leaks. Also included in this area would be calls for emergency situations like vehicle extrication, activated carbon monoxide detectors, miscellaneous rescue calls and service related calls to check on hazards.
Typically, the response to structural related fire calls, activated fire alarms, and smoke or odor investigations includes one engine company, one paramedic ambulance, the aerial ladder, and all of Hinsdale’s on-duty personnel. If the call originates in a high life or fire hazard, additional fire apparatus and personnel respond from a neighboring community. This additional assistance is a valuable tool in both rescuing endangered occupants and controlling a fire early. Should additional help be needed beyond this, the off-duty members of the fire department are recalled to work and the fire department is part of the MABAS mutual aid association – Division 10. The response to the other fire and rescue related conditions are typically handled by one engine company.
Every member of the fire department is trained and certified by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
In 2015, the Fire Department responded to 2,473 calls for service. There were 1,159 ambulance requests (47%), 577 emergency related calls (23%), and 737 fire and fire alarm activations (30%). Of the 2,473 calls, 361 were simultaneous calls. This means that we recieved additional calls for emergency services while we were already out on an emergency call.Back to Top
Emergency Medical Services
When a medical emergency arises, members of the fire department are trained to provide care at the advanced life support (paramedic) level. Participating in the State of Illinois EMS Region 8, there are 21 paramedics (the Chief, 2 Captains, 3 Lieutenants, and all 15 firefighters/paramedics) and 2 emergency medical technicians (Assistant Chief and Captain) who provide services utilizing two fully equipped ambulances under the direction of the Good Samaritan Hospital EMS System. Once services are provided, emergency medical providers then transport to one of the closest hospitals. These hospitals include Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, and Hines VA Hospital.
When responding to a medical emergency, Fire Department personnel always respond with two paramedics and the paramedic ambulance. Depending on the location and nature of the emergency medical call, additional personnel respond to assist when necessary. Either two members can respond with a fire engine or one member can respond with a utility vehicle. This arrangement not only provides enough personnel to the initial emergency but also leaves personnel available for additional emergency calls.
In 2012, approximately 43% of all the department's calls were for emergency medical services. Our Village ambulance service is intended for emergency use only and does not provide routine transportation to and from the hospital. If there is any doubt that a medical emergency exists, paramedics will respond to evaluate the situation.
The Hinsdale Fire Department was officially formed in July of 1893. In the beginning, the department was staffed by Village residents who were true volunteers serving their community. Through the years, the Village's needs were such that a combination full time/volunteer department provided services for many years. Currently, there are 23 fulltime personnel. In April of 2012, Rick Ronovsky was appointed as the Fire Chief. Chief Ronovsky has been a member of the department since 1986. He was one of the first firefighters to volunteer for paramedic training in 1988 allowing the Village to establish paramedic services. Chief Ronovsky holds numerous fire and EMS certifications and was the first member of the department to receive the Chief Fire Officer certification from the State Fire Marshal. He is a member of several professional fire and EMS organizations including Illinois Fire Chief's Association and the Illinois Region VIII EMS Advisory Board.
In addition to Chief Ronovsky, the Administrative staff of the Fire Department consists of Assistant Chief Tim McElroy, two part time Fire Prevention members - Brian Sible and James Halik. Brian Sible has an extensive history in fire prevention. He was hired in 2015 to replace Donald Gay. The department also employs a part time administrative assistant, Rita McFarland. Rita is a long time resident of the Village of Hinsdale and very familar with the community and its residents. The administrative staff works normal business hours - 8am to 4:30pm Monday thru Friday.
The remainder of the personnel is assigned to three shifts. Each shift works 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off duty. This arrangement provides at least seven (7) personnel each day. The minimum staffing level for on duty personnel is six (6). Currently, fire personnel are assigned to the following shifts:
Shift #1 (Black)
Capt. John Carlson
Lt. Andy Ziemer
FF/PM Mike Karban
FF/PM Kevin Baker
FF/PM Dan Majewski
FF/PM Jared Skibbens
Shift #2 (Red)
Capt. William Claybrook
Lt. Don Newberry
FF/PM Robert Patitucci
FF/PM Tom McCarthy
FF/PM Jim Nichols
FF/PM Nick McDonough
Shift #3 (Gold)
Capt. Kevin Votava
Lt. Mike Neville
FF/PM Doug Niemeyer
FF/PM Andy Smith
FF/PM Steve Tullis
FF/PM Pat Schaberg
FF/PM Mike Wilson
The fire department’s equipment and apparatus is considered state of the art. The apparatus includes two (2) engines, one (1) ladder tower, two (2) ambulances, and four (4) staff vehicles. The most recent addition of the fire apparatus was placed into service in 2014 with the oldest piece placed into service in 2000.
2014 Pierce Saber Pumper
1500 GPM Pump/750 Gallon water tank
PTO driven Genesis Rescue tools
2000 - Pierce Dash Custom Pumper
1250 gpm pump / 750 gallon water tank
Class "A" certified engine
Vehicle Rescue equipped
Tower Ladder 84
2008 Spartan Gladiator/Rosenbauer Raptor
102ft METZ Ariel Ladder
1250 GPM, single stage Hale pump/ 300gallon water tank
Fully equipped truck
Thermal Imaging camera
2012 - F250 Pick Up
Emergency & Haz-Mat Response
2005 International/Road Rescue
Medium Duty Chassis - Type I Ambulance
Fully Equipped Paramedic Ambulance
2013 Ford F450/Marque
Type I Ambulance
Fully equipped paramedic ambulance
Fire Chief's Car
2006 - Ford Explorer
Emergency Scene Response
Assistant Chief 84
Administrative Staff Car
2006 - Ford Explorer
Emergency Scene Response
Fire Prevention Vehicle
2010 - Ford Expedition
Fire Prevention & Emergency Response
Fire & EMS Training
The fire and EMS industry demand a high level of training and continuing education. The Fire Department continues to place a high emphasis in this area. Within the recent years, the departments training facility has been remodeled to include new seating, tables, lighting, and computer enhanced multimedia technologies to assist in training the department members. In addition to classroom training, personnel receive hands on training using MABAS training avenues such as the electrical hazards trailer, communications vehicle, roof ventilation simulator, and neighboring fire department’s burn training tower. Often, you can see training being conducted at various locations throughout town including houses that are scheduled for demolition.
The training and continuing education programs provided adhere to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Illinois State Fire Marshal, and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) standards. These are supported by the department’s involvement in our MABAS Division’s training and safety officers association and the Good Samaritan Hospital EMS System. All personnel have training in firefighting, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, confined space, incident command and rapid intervention deployment, emergency vehicle operations, infection control and employee right to know.
While all members of the department are certified at various levels through the State Fire Marshal’s Office, many are attending collegiate programs toward Associate and Baccalaureate degrees at accredited colleges. All of the department’s training is coordinated through Captain John Giannelli, the Training and Safety Captain.
In recent years, many fire departments have taken on the additional responsibilities of providing assistance in mitigating emergencies in areas not traditionally serviced by fire service personnel. These emergencies are hazardous materials response, confined space and technical rescue, and fire cause & origin investigation.
While these types of emergencies do occur, the personnel with these abilities have joined forces with the members of our mutual aid association to provide a strong background in training, response, mitigation, and resources that is cost prohibitive for individual departments. At the present time, the fire department participates in the following regional response programs:
MABAS Division 10 - Hazardous Materials Team
MABAS Division 10 - Technical Rescue Team
MABAS Division 10 - Fire Origin and Cause
DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force
Department personnel who are part of these regional response teams are as follows:
MABAS Division 10 - Hazardous Materials Team:
Bob Patitucci (Technician Level B), Dan Majewski (Technician Level B), Mike Wilson (Technician level B)
MABAS Division 10 - Technical Rescue Team:
Firefighters Don Newberry and Andy Smith
MABAS Division 10 – Fire Investigation Team:
Leiutenant Mike Neville, Firefighters Tom McCarthy and Patrick Schaberg.
DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force:
Firefighter Mike Karban
All of these response teams conduct their training on a monthly basis to remain proficient in these areas of expertise.
Mutual Aid Assistance
Appointments are not possible in emergency services. The Hinsdale Fire Department maintains mutual aid agreements with over 100 communities through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) of northern Illinois. Realistically, we receive and provide mutual aid assistance with emergency services in Cook and DuPage Counties on a regular basis. We are one of the founding departments of the Central Cook and DuPage Counties Mutual Aid Association, which is now MABAS Division 10.
There are two types of mutual aid assistance that we utilize: one is automatic mutual response and the other one is MABAS mutual aid. While they sound familiar, they each have a benefit to enhance our services.
Automatic mutual response is a pre-arranged response agreement to provide immediate response to pre-determined incidents and locations in neighboring towns. Whenever a fire related emergency is dispatched, assistance is automatically sent to assist the affected community. This provides the affected community with additional resources to mitigate a fire in the early stages. By doing this, the damage is generally lower and the injuries to civilians and emergency workers are reduced. Currently, Hinsdale has automatic response agreements with the Pleasantview, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook and LaGrange Fire Departments.
The other form of mutual aid assistance is the MABAS mutual aid program. This program consists of communities and fire service agencies in llinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. It provides the framework for assistance to each other in the event of an emergency that is beyond the normal capabilities of a community and its surrounding neighbors through a contractual agreement.
The goal of the Hinsdale's Fire Prevention Bureau is to provide a safe environment for the residents, businesses, and its' visitors. Historically this has been conducted through annual fire inspections, the reviewing of building plans, and proper code enforcement. In addition, we believe a fire inspection should include education relating to the prevention of fire and a review of the fire protection equipment. It should not always be about looking for violations.
Fire Prevention Bureau Staff
Assistant Chief Tim McElroy
Fire Inspector Brian Sible
Duty Inspectors: Capt. Jon Carlson, Lt. Mike Neville, FF Patrick Schaberg
To help achieve the bureau's goal, we encourage participation and questions regarding the planning of building evacuations, prevention questions, and in preparing for other types of emergencies. For this reason, we play a very active role in the crisis planning for District 181, Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale Adventist Academy, and St. Isaac Jogues. This means that every school within Hinsdale has a crisis plan in place with critical input from both the police and fire departments. Just as important, each school participates in annual drills and training.
In 2012, the Fire Prevention Bureau completed a total of 950 inspection activities including 532 inspections, 224 follow up inspections, 12 special inspections, 48 plan reviews, 73 fire system inspection tests, 9 tests if fire pumps, 38 consultations, and witnessed 14 fire drills.
(includes all types of fires, activated fire alarms, and smoke reports)
(includes all types of ambulance calls, vehicle accidents, and patient assist calls)
(includes all responses to hazardous conditions, rescue calls, extrications, and service calls)
Responding to these many calls equals almost one call every 3 1/2 hours (almost seven calls in a 24-hour period). Because of this volume of calls, an important note is that while the firefighters averaged a call every three or so hours, emergencies are not scheduled and often calls are recieved when others are already in progress. In 2015, there were 361 simultaneous calls. This means that of all the calls, almost 15% of the calls were recieved while we were already out on an emergency call.
The Fire Department offers a variety of public education opportunities to reach the people who work and live in Hinsdale. These events include our annual open house, the Safety Village of Hinsdale, block parties, school visits, fire drills, station tours and Community CPR classes. We also are open to scheduled station visits to accommodate first aid training for different children's groups (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Church groups).
The Safety Village of Hinsdale, operating for over 30 years, is a miniature town complete with small buildings, working traffic signals and railroad crossings, and street signs. Every summer in the month of June, children living in Hinsdale who are entering Kindergarden and First Grade can sign up to attend the two week program located at Oak School and are educated on a variety of safety topics. Police Officers and Firefighters play a key role in presenting the program.
Community CPR Classes are another vital service that the Fire Department provides. The chance of survival for a person who suffers a cardiac arrest increases 90 percent when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started and an automated external defibrillator (AED) is administered within the first minute of the person not breathing. Those first few minutes are critical as the average response time of the Hinsdale Fire Department is approximately 3 minutes. We encourage anyone who is wishing to become certified or renew their current CPR certificate to enroll in one of our classes. The Fire Department offers both Heartsaver CPR and AED training for non-medical personnel and BLS for Healthcare Providers for medical personnel at the Hinsdale Fire Department. For more information or to register for a class, please contact the fire station at (630) 789-7060.
Shared Fire Service
In late 2009, both Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills began to explore the possibility of sharing various Village services. Village Board members and Staff started to explore sharing services between each Village's Fire Departments and in August of 2010, each Village entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement to share Fire and EMS services. While this is not a consolidation of the Departments into one Fire Department, it is an agreement to share services, personnel, equipment, apparatus, support vehicles, and ambulances for the delivery of services to both communities.
The current agreement calls for each Village to provide a dedicated number of personnel on duty to provide services - 6 located in the Village of Hinsdale and 3 located in the Village of Clarendon hills and includes consolidated dispatch services, standardized responses to emergency incidents in each community, standardized policies, procedures, equipment and apparatus, and a common fee structure for both Fire Prevention and Inspection Services and ambulance transportation.
Members of each Fire Department jointly training in not only fire, rescue, and EMS topics but are conducting walk-through and pre-incident surveys in various commercial properties in both Villages like Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, RML Specialty Hospital, the Office Park of Hinsdale, The Birches Assisted Living Center, and all the schools and churches.
The Fire Department works cooperatively with the Police Department to make sure that the Village is prepared for both man-made and natural disasters. One member from the Fire Department and one from the Police Department co-coordinate the functions of emergency management and work to update and maintain the Village's Emergency Operations Plan and provide emergency preparedness planning and mitigation. This provides the structure and framework for maintaining the continuity of Village government in the time of crisis.
Emergency Management co-coordinators continue to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Illinois Emergency Management (IEMA), and with both DuPage and Cook County agencies.
In addition to the Village's EOP, the Village maintains participation in the Pharmaceutical Distribution (SNS) Plan, DuPage County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, and now the Cook County Hazards Mitigation Plan.