Up until 1923, fire prevention, protection and preservation in the city of Chillicothe were under the control of a series of fire marshals. In 1923, the Chillicothe city council established the Chillicothe Fire Department through an act of ordinance, and Chief Thomas Anderson became the first official fire chief of Chillicothe.
Currently, the Chillicothe Fire Department is responsible for approximately 6,000 residents within the city limits of Chillicothe. The department receives funding from the city, which is collected from the citizens of Chillicothe through city taxes.
From 1923-1953, Chillicothe had unofficial fire protection boundaries outside the city. A group of firemen from the city founded a nonprofit organization called the Chillicothe Community Fire Department (CCFD) in 1953 to address the issue. The Chillicothe Community Fire Department established a fire protection district to better serve those outside of Chillicothe’s corporate city limits.
Today, approximately 10,000 occupants in the outlying areas surrounding Chillicothe are served by the Chillicothe Community Fire Department. These limits extend from the Illinois River to east of Rt. 40, south to Detweiler Park and north to Hopewell. The Chillicothe Community Fire Department operates as a corporation, which is responsible for governing itself. Funds for the CCFD are collected from bills sent directly to the them. (These bills satisfy the “fire protection” category that is not collected on taxes in this district.)
Chief Mike Denzer serves as fire chief of both the Chillicothe Fire Department and Chillicothe Community Fire Department have agreements that support the operation of the two organizations as one. The fire department consists of volunteer fire fighters as well as volunteer administrative positions. The fire chief has a salary. They are both responsible for fire prevention and suppression activities. The departments respond to the following calls:
- Any Fire Situations
- EMS Calls
- Auto Accidents – Heavy Duty Extraction
- All Types of Rescue Calls
- River Fire & Rescue
In addition, the CFD/CCFD conduct the following prevention activities
- Property Maintenance
- Liquor License Inspections
- School Fire Drills and Building Inspections
- Commercial and Industrial Plan Reviews for Building Permits
- Rental Inspection
The city provides medical assistance through Advanced Medical Transport. The city has a minimum of one ambulance within the city limits at all times. A second ambulance comes from North Peoria when needed to cover while the first ambulance is on a transport. AMT’s ambulance is based out of Station 1. Automatic mutual aid, where specific departments automatically respond to calls, is provided by the fire department between Dunlap and Lacon/Sparland. The fire department is a member of MABAS, a statewide mutual aid agreement in which fire departments voluntarily agree to send predetermined resources to other members of their division(s) in the case of an extreme emergency. This occurs when a community is struck by disaster and the resources of that community do not suffice for recovery. The CFD/CCFD is a member of MABAS Division #36 (Peoria County).
History of Fire Chiefs
Thomas Anderson (1923-1950)
Charles (Chuck) Hoyt (1950 – 1953)
Gail (Mike) Myers (1953-2003)
John Myers (2003-2015)
Mike Denzer (2015-Present)