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Board Message Posted September 2023

To those that assisted at the State Fair Fire Services tent, a big thank you. While we had the hottest day, it was a busy day. There were several new and updated displays. We’re looking forward to seeing some of you at this worth event next year.

There will be a Fire Inspector II class offered starting in September. Registration is available on the website. If you are interested in attending a Public Fire Life Safety Educator class, please contact the office to be placed on a wait list.

If you are aware of anyone that is worthy of being recognized for going above and beyond, fill out a form and submit it to the IFIA. The various awards, their descriptions, and how to nominate them can be found on the website. If you have a business that has supported you, consider them for a corporate ward.

Our mini seminar this month will be held on September 22 nd , and will be on Fire Protection for Energy Storage Systems and Fixed Lithium-Ion Battery Installations. The location will be the Elk Grove Village Hall, 901 Wellington, room E. Seating will be limited to the first 40 people who sign up, so sign up now.

Topics to be discussed include: What is ESS and li-ion batteries, overview of li-ion battery fires, why fixed installations are popping up (but not mobile devices and EVs), how fires occur and progress, lessons learned from fires that have occurred, overview of listings for ESS equipment, codes dealing with ESS installations (including NFPA 855), code requirements for ESS in non-dedicated buildings, codes and trends for utility-scale ESS outdoor containers.

The presenter will be Lee Kaiser, Vice President of Engineering and Training for ORR Protection—a national fire protection contractor focusing on mission critical facilities. Lee is a professional engineer in both fire protection and mechanical engineering with licenses in several states.

Other upcoming seminars are on October 27th where there will be a site visit to UL in Northbrook. On November 17th there will be our annual VIRTUAL Did You Know? seminar. This consists of about eight speakers giving an approximate 15-minute overview of a topic. If
you have an interest in a topic, you will have information to contact the speaker for more details. This is a great way to hear about a lot of subjects in one morning. Watch the website and weekly blasts for more information.

For departments that have a burn door prop, this might be something to consider. The Fire Services has had a burn door at the State Fair for many years. In an effort to “take it up a notch” we made a change this year, by adding two large graphics. One would go on what would be inside of the room door. The other graphic is seen when the door is opened into what would be the hallway. If this is something that you feel would be useful to you, contact GZ Sign Designs in Roselle at (630) 307-7446 and ask about the two fire door graphics, they are reasonably priced. If instead of Illinois Fire Service Association on it, you would like your organization’s name, that can be done as well. These graphics are basically are what are used on car wraps. You simply peel of the backing and smooth the graphic to the surface.
















Our 2024 Fire and Life Safety Conference dates are March 20 – 22, 2024, with a pre-conference on the afternoon of the 19th . For budget purposes hotel rooms are $105 per night. Our conference pricing has not increased since 2016, although costs to us have, several times. As a result, we will be increasing our fees slightly for the upcoming conference. Early bird full conference will be $350,

and post early bird it will be $450. Wednesday or Thursday one day pricing will be $200 early bird, and $250 post early bird. Friday will remain the same at $100 early bird and $125 after the early bird. The pre-conference will be free to IFIA members and $30 to non-
members. Earl bird rates end February 18th.

The Illinois Community Risk Reduction team is having a free all-day meeting on September 27th. Additional information is on a graphic following this report.

While many months away, we have reserved a room for our Holiday Party. It will be on December 7th at Roberto's Ristorante & Pizzeria, 483 Spring Rd, Elmhurst. The event will begin at 6 pm. All are welcome to attend. Also, the IFIA will be collecting new or gently used winter clothing to give to those less fortunate. Donations will be accepted at our holiday party. If you are unable to make the party, and would like to donate, contact a Board member or the IFIA for assistance. Please let the office know if you are attending so we can plan accordingly.

The Illinois Community Risk Reduction Task Force now has a dashboard for Illinois fire calls from 2016-2020. There is a new tab on the website (  that is titled “data” and it will open directly to information about the dashboard. The direct link is  If you are reading the dashboard on a laptop and the various fields are compressed, they can use fn + f11 and that may straighten things out.

Congratulations to the Peoria Fire Department! See the following press release by Steve Hrustich Vision 20/20 Project Manager.

Peoria, IL (August 28, 2023) – The Peoria Fire Department has been selected for the Vision 20/20 Onsite Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Project. Peoria Fire Department will receive training, coaching and technical assistance to develop a comprehensive Community Risk Assessment and associated Community Risk Reduction Plan for their community.  The organization will also receive other material support from Vision 2020 and our partners, Inspection Reports and Virtual CRR, along with 2 registrations to join 400 of their
fire service peers at Vision 20/20’s Model Performance in Community Risk Reduction Symposium in February of 2024.  

The Peoria Fire Department was selected from over 100 fire departments from across the nation that applied for the project. Peoria is a city of over 110,000 people and the 8 th most populous city in Illinois. Peoria is a diverse city with a rich culture and is home to a number of museums, theaters, festivals and events. Major businesses include Caterpillar, multiple hospitals including OSF St. Francis Medical Center and its affiliates and healthcare facilities, and Bradley University. The Peoria Fire Department is a professional fire department that provides fire suppression, rescue, emergency medical services, and hazardous materials mitigation to the city.
The department has over 180 commissioned suppression personnel and 12 fire stations, responding to over 20,000 incidents per year.

The selection process focused on a wide variety of factors that included incident volume, current CRR programs and more importantly to show a desire and need to build and execute a solid risk reduction plan for the community.  Stephen Hrustich, Project Manager for Vision 20/20 said, “We are truly excited to work with Peoria Fire Department on this onsite project that focuses on building their Community Risk Assessment and a viable CRR Plan for the organization. Through this onsite project, Vision 20/20’s goals are not only to work with Peoria Fire Department, but also capture this journey through video and interviews with key stakeholders that provide in-
depth detail into the process and accentuate the challenges which will help fire departments across the nation to navigate the CRR journey successfully”.

When contacted following the selection process, Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger commented that “Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is not always a glamorous task within the fire service and does not get the attention it truly deserves. CRR is the single most important task we can embrace that positively impacts an event before it actually happens.” Division Chief of Fire Prevention, Nathaniel Rice added “The Peoria Fire Department is extremely grateful to be selected for the Vision 20/20 Onsite Community Risk Reduction Project. We are excited to undertake such a rewarding process and look forward to developing new and innovative processes to enhance our  community risk reduction efforts for our city.”

We are still asking for your assistance with some pictures. We are developing a stockpile of pictures of code violations. We will be using these in a new program we are working on. We are looking at basic items, not complex issues where advanced skills might be needed to spot the violation. Feel free to send them to If you’d like to include a short line of what you feel the issue is, that might be of assistance.

From Meredith Hawes, our NFPA Regional Director, NFPA is excited to partner with State Farm Insurance to give away FPW kits. This is on a first come, first serve basis. Please sign up in the attached link by September 6th to be eligible for a free FPW 100 kit:

NFPA will notify you before October 1 if you are selected and your local State Farm Agent will deliver it to you. The only thing we ask is that you post a picture with the banner at your fire department and post to #firepreventionweek.


The contents of the kit are:

616 Items:

  • One 4 x 10 cloth banner

  • 15 Posters (Spanish/English)

  • 100 each:

    • Brochures Theme and Top 10

    • Magnets

    • Stickers

    • Bags

    • Activity Books


Please visit to see all the free resources and also to view the free webinar on FPW.


Upcoming events:
Inspector 2: September 7, 14, 21, 28 and October 5th - Romeoville
October 27 – Site visit to UL
November 17 – Did You Know mini seminar VIRTUAL
December 7: Holiday party, Elmhurst
IFIA Annual Fire and Life Safety Conference – March 19 – 22, 2024


To see the latest in the State for CRR, visit their website at


To see the information on the upcoming CRR conference, see the conference graphic that follows.

Conf 2024 Save The Date.jpg
Vision 2020 conf.png
News pic.jpg

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