Jun. 25, 2013 | Fire Chief
One hundred people attended the eighth annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day on June 20, 2013, at the new Homeland
Education Security Center located on the campus of the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The event was sponsored by the Metropolitan Fire Chief’s Association of Illinois, which has partnered with FAMA and the Fire and Emergency Manufacturers Association (FEMSA).
Illinois’ Home Day was established to help state and local legislators better understand firsthand the importance of
grant funding in Illinois. The three-hour event was co-chaired by Chiefs Tom Deegan and Tim Sashko of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs; Paul , president, Darley and Co., and Janet Wilmoth representing FEMSA. In addition to congressional leaders and their staffers, also in attendance were 30 Illinois vendors (employing more than 100,000 Illinois employees) and more than 60 Illinois fire chiefs.
The event was held at the college’s $25 million HEC facility, completed in Q4 2011. It has 66,000 square feet and houses the college's Criminal Justice, Fire Science/EMS, Police Department and the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy. It is one of the few educational institutions to receive a relic from the Twin Towers following September 11, 2001, which is included in a permanent memorial display in the center.
Speakers at the event included Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis, Garry Briese, former his residential fire sprinkler campaign for Illinois. Matkaitis recently filed a new state fire code, the first change in 12 years, which would require fire sprinklers in all new single-family homes, including those built within Chicago city limits. VIII executive director and Don Mobley, FEMA program specialist. The state fire marshal presented the attendees with an update on
“As far as I’m concerned, everyone in Illinois deserves safe housing,” Matkaitis said.
Garry Briese in his keynote speech addressed educating legislators on fire and emergency service issues and, in particular, the value of
federal grant funding. Briese stated that the Assistance to Fire Grants funding is scheduled to cease in 2017, and the fire service needs to be prepared to act now to extend that deadline.
Home Day concluded with outfitting the legislative staffers in firefighter turnout gear and having them enter a smoke-filled room to experience what it’s like to be a firefighter.