Evanston Fire Department Announces Promotion of Two Distinguished Members
The Evanston Fire Department is pleased to announce the promotion of Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO) Johan Haglund to fire captain and FF/Paramedic Gregory Grish to FAO, effective January 29, 2024. Their dedication and commitment to serving the community have been well reflected over their 30 years of combined experience. These distinguished members have been an asset to our department and will undoubtedly do well serving in their new capacity.
Johan Haglund was promoted from fire apparatus operator to fire captain. Captain Johan Haglund has served the residents of Evanston since September 5, 2006, when he received his firefighter and paramedic certifications. Recently promoted from FAO to captain, Haglund's dedication is exhibited as he climbs the ranks within our department. Johan is a highly decorated veteran firefighter who has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving Evanston residents and supporting department members' health and wellness.
Captain Haglund is a highly decorated firefighter who received two Craig Stiles Unit Performance Awards. This outstanding performance award is issued to company members whose combined bravery, dedication, and exceptional professional skill saved human lives or property under adverse conditions. This award is the second-highest level of recognition offered by the Evanston Fire Department. Johan received the Fire Chief's Letter of Commendation. This acknowledgment recognizes an individual's excellent fire or paramedic work, including acts of service that demonstrate exceptional skill and professionalism. Johan also received a Special Recognition Award for providing outstanding emergency medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johan is an active and highly trained member of the department. He received his Fire Apparatus Engineer (FAE) and Fire Safety Vehicle Operator (FSVO) certificates in 2013, served as an EMS coordinator for three years, and collaboratively partnered with Evanston Fire and Police Command Staff to conduct Rescue Task Force (RTF) exercises in support of active shooter training. Johan is an active member of the MABAS Division 3 Trench Rescue team. Johan received technician-level certifications in trench rescue, confined space, and structural collapse and operations-level certification in rope rescue. He is also an active member of the personal watercraft team (PWC) and recently received two commendations for conducting heroic lakefront rescues in 2022.
Johan has been instrumental in supporting health and wellness initiatives for firefighters, serving as a Peer Fitness Committee member for six years. This initiative supported firefighter health and fitness through weightlifting, strength training, flexibility, mobility testing, and nutritional counseling. Johan is well-trained in these disciplines and has supported our members tremendously throughout this program.
Gregory Grish was promoted from firefighter/paramedic to fire apparatus operator. FAO Gregory Grish started his career in the fire service in March 2011 as a firefighter/paramedic. Greg is an accomplished fire department member who has dedicated considerable efforts to improving departmental operations and the professional development of EFD paramedics. Greg is also a decorated veteran firefighter who is regarded as dependable and is trusted to do well in his new role.
FAO Grish is a decorated firefighter who received the Fire Chief's Letter of Commendation. This acknowledgment recognizes an individual's excellent fire or paramedic work. Criteria for this recognition include acts of performance or service demonstrating exceptional skill and professionalism. Greg also received a Special Recognition Award for providing outstanding emergency medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAO Grish has completed numerous training opportunities in specialized rescue operations, including surface water rescue, hazardous material operations, rope operations, ice rescue, and airport firefighting. Applying these skills, Greg was an active water rescue team member for ten years and a boat operator for two years.
As a paramedic, Greg shared his knowledge with new paramedics by taking on the preceptor role, serving in that capacity for seven years. He also engaged in the EMS committee for two years, helping to shape department policy and upgrade medical equipment.
Greg received his associate degree in Fire Science Technology from Harper College in 2007.
Fire Captain Michael McDermott Announces His Retirement After 26 Years of Service
After more than 26 years of dedicated service, Fire Captain Michael McDermott retired on January 9, 2024. McDermott started his career in December of 1997 as a firefighter/paramedic, served as a paramedic preceptor in 2003, and was promoted to Fire Captain in March 2007.
Captain McDermott is a decorated firefighter who received the Craig Stiles Unit Performance Award. This outstanding performance award is issued to members of a company whose combined acts of bravery, dedication, and exceptional professional skill resulted in saving human lives or property under adverse conditions. This award is the second-highest recognition offered by the Evanston Fire Department. Mike was also awarded the Chief's Letter of Commendation for exhibiting exceptional skill and professionalism as a paramedic.
Mike's commitment to the profession is exhibited in his training and educational pursuits. He trained in extrication and tactical operations and received his Hazardous Material Operations, Fire Apparatus Engineer, and Fire Officer I and II certifications. Mike also received an associate's degree in fire science from the College of Dupage.
Captain McDermott worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of fellow firefighters on the job, serving on the Safety Committee for 25 years and, more recently, leading the effort as Committee Chair. Additionally, Mike has improved departmental operations by serving on the Standard Operating Guideline Committee for more than 15 years. Mike also served several years on the Evanston Fire Department Local 742 negotiation committee.
Fire Chief Paul Polep commented, "Captain McDermott's retirement marks the end of an era for our department. As a decorated 26-year veteran, he exemplified unwavering dedication to the safety of our members. We wish him and his family a very healthy and well-deserved retirement."
Firefighter Remembrance Ceremony for William Craig and George Stiles Marks 118th Anniversary
On Wednesday, December 13, at 0745 hours, the Evanston Fire Department held a remembrance ceremony for William Craig and George Stiles. Both firefighters died in the historic Clayton Mark Foundry fire in 1905 during a wall collapse.
A ceremony was held in the Valli Produce parking lot at 1910 Dempster Street. Attendees had a dedication in the northeast corner of the parking lot near the stone, which marks the location where Craig and Stiles perished on that dreadful day.
EFD Thanks Northwestern for New Fire Truck Donation
Photo by: Shane Collins/Northwestern University
The Evanston Fire Department unveiled a brand-new Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck, made possible by an $800,000 donation from Northwestern University in 2021. In a unique expression of gratitude, the fire department has incorporated Northwestern’s distinctive purple color and some graphic branding elements into the new engine design concept.
This eye-catching fire engine, capable of holding 500 gallons of water and pumping 1,500 gallons per minute, is equipped with an array of fire gear and Advanced Life Support equipment. The significant upgrade replaces a 2003 truck, enhancing the department's capabilities in responding to various emergencies, including EMS calls, working fires, and specialized rescue incidents.
Northwestern’s long-standing support of the Evanston Fire Department dates back to 1970 with the University's first donation of a new fire engine. Over the years, this partnership has continued, with subsequent ambulance and fire engine donations, collaborative training sessions held in University facilities, and assistance from Northwestern's research and development department.
Photo by: Shane Collins/Northwestern University
A look at the project's timeline:
Mid-2021: Councilmember Clare Kelly, Mayor Daniel Biss, and Northwestern's Senior Executive Director for Neighborhood and Community Relations Dave Davis engaged in discussions regarding the Evanston Fire Department’s need for a new fire truck due to an aging fleet and increased usage of reserves.
Late 2021: The City accepted an $800,000 donation from Northwestern for the purchase of the new fire truck, and the City Council approved the acquisition.
January 2022: The City of Evanston placed an order with Pierce Manufacturing Company for the new fire engine.
February 2022: Fire Chief Polep initiated discussions on a new engine design concept with members of the fire department and Northwestern's Office of Global Marketing and Communications.
March 2022: Fire Chief Polep hosted a meeting with Station 3 fire captains to discuss design elements.
April 2022: Based on conversations with the Station 3 crew, designs were revised.
May 2023: Plans were finalized by Fire Chief Polep and a signed approval for production was presented to Pierce.
"Thank you to Northwestern University for this generous and needed gift to the City's fire department," said Councilmember Kelly. "I look forward to further engagement and collaboration between Northwestern and the City of Evanston. Building and strengthening mutual support benefits both Northwestern and the City. Uplifting the spirit of partnership invigorates a true and healthy community."
Echoing this sentiment, Fire Chief Polep emphasized, "This is our way of showing gratitude to Northwestern for the continuous collaboration between our fire department and the university over the years. Painting the truck in Northwestern colors is a symbolic gesture of our shared values and partnership in ensuring the safety and security of our community. We’re proud of how it turned out.”
“The University is immensely proud of our enduring partnership with the City of Evanston," said Dave Davis, Senior Executive Director for Neighborhood and Community Relations at Northwestern. "This new fire truck, adorned with Northwestern colors, is a testament to our collaborative spirit and shared commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our entire community. As we celebrate this milestone, I am filled with optimism about the future of our partnership."
The Evanston Fire Department looks forward to utilizing this new vehicle and equipment to enhance community safety, providing top-of-the-line services to the entire Evanston community.
Evanston Fire Department Honors ETHS Student Declan Boutross with Marty Leoni Award
On November 1, Evanston Township High School student Declan Boutross was recognized by Evanston Fire Department's Local 742 as this year's Marty Leoni Award recipient, receiving a $3,000 scholarship to be applied towards college educational expenses.
The scholarship was created in 1986 in honor and memory of Marty F. Leoni by his family, friends, and fellow firefighters. Marty was born and raised in Evanston and became a firefighter for the City of Evanston on March 2, 1981. He died in the line of duty at a fire at 1927 Jackson St. in Evanston on July 22, 1985, while trying to save an infant trapped inside a burning structure.
The scholarship is awarded annually by an ETHS-led committee to one student who excels academically, has been an accomplished football player for a minimum of three years, and represents characteristics similar to Marty Leoni. These qualities include integrity, a demonstrated commitment to athletic and academic excellence, and service as a leader in their organization. The scholarship is intended to support the student's professional development, honoring Marty's legacy and pursuit of excellence.
Annual fundraising activities sponsored by Evanston Fire Department (EFD) Local 742 include an annual golf outing and Marty Leoni Fun Run. Since 1986, EFD Local 742 has awarded over $50,000 in academic scholarships. Former Division Chief Ronn Gannon, a 30-year veteran of Evanston Fire Department, said that Leoni was an exemplary member of the department and that "it would be a travesty if we forgot the sacrifice Marty and his family made on that dreadful day."
Gannon highlights the great efforts made by firefighters, friends, and family in honor of Marty Leoni, stating we will continue to fundraise and raise awareness of the everyday sacrifices firefighters make in their profession.
Evanston Fire Department Creates Two New Field Chief Positions
Thursday, June 1, 2023-
The Evanston Fire Department is pleased to announce the promotion of Fire Captain Sean Malloy to Field Chief of Special Operations and Fire Captain Megan Kamarchevakul to Field Chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), effective June 5, 2023. Both highly decorated veterans of the Evanston Fire Department, these members exude professionalism and impeccable service to the Evanston community.
To improve efficiency and specialization within the department, the Evanston Fire Department has developed these positions to allow fire department staff to customize programming and response capabilities in support of Evanston Lakefront, special operations, and emergency medical services (EMS). These promotions signify the historic expansion of fire department operations, representing a move necessary to meet the rising demands of our growing community.
Field Chief of Special Operations Sean Malloy is a highly trained individual who has exhibited remarkable dedication to the betterment of the Evanston Fire Department. Devoting considerable effort to mastering the skills necessary to support life safety operations, Sean specializes in ice and water rescue, high angle and trench rescue, and hazardous materials operations.
Malloy has been instrumental in supporting lakefront safety and was recently awarded a commendation for saving lives during a lakefront rescue in 2022 while assigned to Evanston Fire Department's new Marine 21 watercraft. Sean serves on the MABAS Division 3 Dive and Evanston Fire Department Surface Water Rescue teams. He was awarded for exceptional work during his deployment to downstate Hardin, Illinois, for ten days as part of a MABAS Division 3 response to support emergency response efforts and assist evacuees during the record flooding, and also for the Mississippi and Illinois River flooding response in 2019.
Sean has served as the MABAS Division 3 High Angle/Trench Rescue Technical Team leader. He is a Rescue Specialist for Illinois' Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team. His extensive technical rescue training shows Sean's commitment and passion for the fire service. He is also an active MABAS Division 3 Hazardous Materials Team member.
Malloy's professional and academic pursuits have led to a distinguished career, receiving technician status in Rope and Confined Space Access and instructor status through the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) in Confined Space, Rope Technician, and Structural Collapse Technician. Sean also serves as an instructor for the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT).
Malloy holds a Bachelor of Science in Fire & Safety Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati.
Field Chief of Emergency Medical Services Megan Kamarchevakul has proven to be a dedicated department member, working tirelessly to improve the department's delivery of emergency medical services and leading important community engagement and public education programming.
As an EMS coordinator, Kamarchevakul was instrumental in implementing the latest technologies to improve patient care in the field, including advancements in video laryngoscope technology and cloud-based patient reporting and communications systems that have helped to improve intubation success rates and EMS trend analysis, respectively.
Her steadfast commitment to personal and professional development includes receiving certifications as an American Heart Association (AHA) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid Instructor, a National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) certified instructor, and a Fire and Life Safety Educator. She also served as a paramedic preceptor for eight years and is an active member of the department's Surface and Underwater Rescue Teams.
Regarding community engagement, Kamarchevakul has served as the leader of the department's Fire Explorer Program since its inception in 2013 and as an instructor in the EFD/Evanston Township High School's Public Safety Program. Both programs teach Evanston youth about a career in firefighting and EMS.
Kamarchevakul holds a Master of Science degree in Biology from Northeastern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Evansville.
Megan is excited about taking on this new role. She is eager to apply her passion for EMS, teaching, and in-field experience to enhance the department's emergency medical services and response capabilities.
Both Megan and Sean's extraordinary commitment and dedication to the profession will undoubtedly help them perform their role at a high level.
Evanston First Responders Foundation Donations Provide Life-Saving Equipment for Evanston Fire Department
The Evanston Fire Department has received a generous donation from the Evanston First Responders Foundation (EFRF), which has purchased three LUCAS devices for each ambulance in honor of Oliver Brown Leopold.
The LUCAS device is a portable chest compression system that provides consistent, high-quality chest compressions during cardiac arrest. This device is critical for the successful resuscitation of patients, as it allows first responders to maintain uninterrupted compressions, which significantly increases the patient's chance of survival.
The Evanston Fire Department is grateful for the designated funds provided by the Brown Leopold family and friends that were made to the EFRF in honor of Oliver. Adding these LUCAS devices to each front-line ambulance will enhance the department's ability to provide the highest quality care to the community. It will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the effort to save lives.
"We greatly appreciate the Evanston First Responders Foundation and cannot thank the Brown Leopold family enough for their generous donation," said Fire Chief Paul Polep. "The Foundation's commitment to our department and the community we serve is invaluable, and we are honored to receive this life-saving equipment in honor of Oliver."
The Evanston First Responders Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to first responders in Evanston. Their mission is to enhance the level of care provided to the community by providing necessary equipment and training to the police and fire departments.
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