Posts Tagged Elgin Fire Chief David Schmidt

Elgin FD memorial service

Excerpts from the

Elgin Fire Chief David Schmidt was part of the original Elgin Area Firefighters Memorial ceremony 25 years ago, as was colleague and friend Steve Berry, and Elgin Fire Department Chaplain Roger Pollock.

This year’s memorial was especially bittersweet for Schmidt because Berry was among those being remembered Berry, who died in July 2016, was among 11 firefighters from seven area departments honored during Saturday’s 25th annual memorial service, held at George Van De Voorde Firefighter Memorial Park on the grounds of the Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum on Bent Street.

Bells tolled for Berry and Robert F. Smith from the Elgin Fire Department; Thomas Mack and Ken Penkala from Bartlett Fire Department; Dennis Dwyer from Carpentersville Fire Department; Don Benchly, Ron Nussbaum and Don Oranger from Hampshire Fire Department; Robert Scholl from Hoffman Estates Fire Department; and Michael Mattoon from Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District. Freeport Firefighter Eric Kohlbauer, who died in the line of service, was also recognized.

A moment of silence was held for Elgin Police Officer Steve Jones, who died suddenly May 7. Schmidt said Jones was a friend to firefighters and will be missed.

The annual ceremony is a way for families to mourn their loved ones as well as heal, Schmidt said.

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain read a proclamation marking the day, which also included such traditions as the Last Alarm, reading of the “Fireman’s Prayer” and a performance of “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes.

Kathleen Mattoon attended the event with her 1-year-old daughter, Madison. She lost her husband Michael, a former Rutland Dundee firefighter, in January. Kathleen took photos of the ceremony to share with her daughter and to keep Michael’s memory alive.

“The fire service has been what has gotten Madison and me through every day,” said Mattoon, who attended the ceremony many times when growing up as the daughter of former West Dundee Fire Chief Frank Buhrmann. “The support they have given us is incredible.”

thanks Dan

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Elgin Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Elgin Fire Department will host a ceremony Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way for four firefighters who were recently promoted. Three new firefighters also will be sworn in.

Robb Cagann is now an assistant fire chief, said Fire Chief David Schmidt. Cagann was one of six finalists in the city’s nationwide search to fill the assistant chief’s position. He joined the department in 1993 and spent 15 years as the training officer where he developed a skill-based training program. He served a number of years as director of the Elgin Regional Fire Academy and was also instrumental in the development of the technical rescue team for both Elgin and the region. He was recognized by the American Legion as the Firefighter of the Year in 2014.

Richard Carter was promoted to the rank of battalion chief. Carter joined the department in 1991 and spent 15 years as a paramedic and member of the technical rescue team. He serves in the training division, where he has been involved for 15 years. Carter also served as director of the Elgin Regional Fire Academy. In 2007, Carter was recognized by the American Legion as the Firefighter of the Year.

Daniel Wagner is now fire captain. He joined the department in 1996 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2004. Wagner has been a member of the water rescue team for 18 years and led the department’s water rescue team to a public safety dive championship. He helps coordinate the annual Fox River cleanup and has been a member of the department’s Honor Guard for the past 15 years. He also served as a fire academy instructor for 10 years. Wagner was recognized by the American Legion as the Firefighter of the Year in 2003.

Michael Przybylski now is a lieutenant. He joined the department in 2004 and is a leader of the department Fire Explorer program and an assistant team leader for the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System mobile field force as a paramedic. He serves on the Safety Committee and has been a member of the Rescue Task Force for active shooter incidents in conjunction with Elgin Police Department.

Justin Lee, Austin Lawrenz and Kellen Smith are becoming probationary firefighters.

thanks Dan

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Elgin Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Since 1877, the Elgin Fire Department has had 17 fire chiefs. David Schmidt, who was hired onto the Elgin Fire Department in 1989, was sworn in Friday as the latest to hold the position.

More than 100 residents, city officials, police officers, firefighters, retired firefighters, and area firefighters and fire chiefs were on hand for the ceremony at the Centre of Elgin’s Heritage Ballroom.

Schmidt said that while not many things would change for the fire service, he did want to see the department continue embracing and using technology to make the job safer for firefighters and for the community.

“We will continue to be a data-driven fire department, using data for future decisions and continuing the strategic plan we started in 2014. We will continue to pursue and leverage technology and innovations and improve the level of service that we provide in the community,” he said.

He also wants to see the department become more diverse and more reflective of the community served.

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