The Niles Fire Department has a long and rich history, dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Here's a timeline of important events:
  • 1899 - A hand-drawn, hand-pumped wagon with a stream pressure able to throw water 30 feet and a horse-drawn, 100 gallon chemical pump were purchased.
  • 1901 - Niles Fire Department was organized.
  • 1902 - F. J. Lenzen was the first fire marshal.
  • 1912 - Niles Fire Department was chartered February 19, 1912 as a volunteer fire company.
  • 1921 - Two motorized trucks (REO Chemical Pump) were purchased.
  • 1921 and 1926 - John Calef became fire marshal.
  • 1923 - M. Heidinger became fire chief.
  • 1934 to 1964 - George Pasek became the first full time fire chief.
  • 1936 - A Pirsch 750 GPM pumper was purchased and named Engine No. 1.
  • 1946 - Free ambulance service was provided to the community, predating all other Illinois communities. It was one of the first in the nation.
​​Professional Firefighters
  • 1947 - First full time paid firefighter was hired.
  • 1956 - New Cadillac ambulance was purchased with funds from Niles Day Festival.
  • 1959 - Niles received grand award from the Chicago Association of Commerce / Industry and a special certificate from NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency).
  • 1960 - New customized snorkel truck, second unit off assembly line to serve the nation, was purchased and designed to Chief Pasek's specifications. It was dubbed Snorkel 1.
  • 1961 - Dedication of Fire Station #2 at 8360 Dempster St. to provide service to the expanding community.
  • 1962 - First full time paid fire chief, George B. Pasek, was appointed. Niles created the Fire Safety Council and begins teaching fire safety in village schools.
  • 1964 to 1984 - New fire chief Albert L. Hoelbl was appointed.
  • 1965 - Niles ranked 11th in the nation for fire prevention program. EDITH (Exit Drill in the Home) and HIP (Home Inspection Program) were started by NFD and conducted in all homes within Niles.
  • 1966 - Remaining six volunteer firefighters retired and the department became a full time service operation.
  • 1967 - Niles Board of Trustees authorized participation in MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System).
  • 1967 - Niles received ISO 3 ranking by Insurance Service Rating, ranking it with only three other cities in Illinois: Evanston, Rockford, and Oak Park. This meant lower insurance premiums for businesses and residents.
  • 1969 - Dedication of relocated Fire Station #1 at 6611 Dempster Street.
  • 1970 - Pirsch Tiller Ladder truck purchased, named Truck 440 (T-2).
Paramedic Service
  • 1973 - Began providing free paramedic ambulance service to the community in accordance with the Illinois Paramedic Act, administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Project hospital for the system was St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois.
  • 1973 - House of Hazards Safety Program won Niles its 15th consecutive award and 3rd grand award for Fire Safety Programs.
  • 1973 - The first medics were staffed: LeeRoy Callison, Tom Marcotte, Richard Timm, Richard Pickup, Rich Valkanet, Alex Weber, and George Twarski.
  • 1973 - First time MABAS was used in Niles: $1 million loss fire, 3 killed at A.B. Dick Company (September 12th)
  • 1974 - September 9 was the first day with new paramedic unit, 1974 Dodge Van. In its first 54 days, the unit went on 236 runs.
  • 1976 - CPR classes for the public are started.
  • 1977 - Niles Board of Trustees authorized participation in R.E.D. Center (Regional Emergency Dispatch Center), started at Niles Station #2. The current call load is 25,000 a year.
  • 1979 - Doppler Radar Committee meeting, hosted by NFD, on passing resolution using radar system for Chicago area for the early warning of tornadoes.
  • 1981 - R.E.D. Center moved from Niles Fire Station 2 to Glenview Fire Station 6, set up as an independent operation. An agreement was formed for joint, automatic operations, and station and equipment renumbering.
  • 1982 - On October 26 the Niles Board of Trustees authorized, by Ordinance, the training in accordance with the Illinois Fire Protection Act, Division of Personnel Standards and Education.
  • 1984 - Fire Chief Harry Kinowski was appointed.

​​Firefighting in the 21st Century

  • 1985 - Began RED and MABAS joint training programs.
  • 1987 - PSEN (Public Safety Education Network) setup, combining seven committees on conducting joint fire safety programs and purchases.
  • 1993 - Completed Station 2 remodeling and administrative addition.
  • 1993 - Pierce Tiller Ladder Truck purchased and named Truck 2.
  • 1995 - Approved authorized department strength at 50 classified personnel.
  • 1997 - 1976 Darley fire engine donated to Anna, IL, and fire fighter gear donated to Phoenix and Robbins, IL.
  • 1999 - Seventh consecutive award for fire safety programs awarded by Fire Inspectors Association.
  • 2006 - Barry Mueller was appointed Fire Chief.
  • 2010- A 2001 Pierce Quint with 105' ladder is purchased.
  • 2011- Steve Borkowski is appointed Fire Chief.
  • 2012- Department celebrates 100 year anniversary.