Elk Grove Village Fire Chief Richard Mikel Named Illinois Fire Chief of the Year
The Illinois Fire Chiefs Association has announced that Elk Grove Village Fire Chief Richard Mikel is 2018 Fire Chief of the Year. Chief Mikel was nominated as a joint effort by Mayor Craig B. Johnson and the Village Board, as well as twelve staff members in leadership positions throughout the organization.
The IFCA accepts recommendations for the Fire Chief of the Year in categories of career, part-time, and volunteer chiefs. For 2018, an IFCA Committee selected Chief Mikel as the recipient in the category of Career Fire Chief with a population over 25,000. This award is acknowledged throughout the fire service in Illinois and nationwide as an incredibly prestigious recognition of the efforts a Chief Fire Officer takes to protect the community.
“Chief Mikel has revitalized the Department and enhanced the community through his incredible passion, dedication, and leadership.” said Mayor Craig Johnson, “We are proud to see his efforts acknowledged and recognized with this prestigious honor.”
The Elk Grove Village Fire Department maintains a Class 2 ISO rating and consists of 94 full-time employees and 4 Fire Stations. Elk Grove Village, Illinois is an 11 square mile community adjacent to O’Hare International Airport. The Village is home to a 6-square mile industrial park—the largest in North America—with over 3,600 businesses in manufacturing sectors with high-hazard operations. The remaining 5 miles of Elk Grove Village include 33,000 residents, 22 shopping centers, and 3 expressways. The Elk Grove Village Fire Department also protects the Busse Woods Forest Preserve adjacent to Elk Grove Village—this 3,558-acre preserve includes 10.8 miles of trails, a 460-acre lake, and receives more than a million visitors each year.
Richard Mikel joined the Elk Grove Village Fire Department as Fire Chief in 2012 and he is at the forefront of efforts to modernize the Elk Grove Village Fire Department. Chief Mikel is overseeing the construction of two new fire stations, a $9.5 million, 4-bay station serving the west side of the Village, and a $15-million, 4-bay station and training tower serving the Village’s industrial park. These new stations will replace counterparts that are 42 and 47 years old respectively and have outlived their useful life. Additional modernization efforts in the Fire Department include updating the fleet, with two new quints, an innovative rapid-response rescue squad, technological advances to improve fire inspectional services, and updating popular community wellbeing programs for the modern day.
“Chief Mikel is highly valued by this community,” said Mayor Johnson, “He has been proactive in reaching out to residents, businesses, schools, and community organizations, and he continues to pursue new and innovative ways to provide for the health and safety of everyone in Elk Grove Village.”
Chief Mikel will be presented his award at the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association Annual Conference in Peoria on Tuesday, October 16 as part of the Presidential Banquet and Reception. With this presentation, he will join an elite group of twenty-four other fire chiefs who have received this award since 2001.