Skip to Main Content


The Illinois Fire Chiefs Association has a long and rich history of supporting the fire service leaders in Illinois.  We are dedicated to the success of our members and their organizations

August 3, 1951 – Chiefs from nine cities met at the fire station in River Forest, Illinois to discuss a state fire chiefs organization. Those present at that meeting were:

  • Chief George J. Beinlich, Glencoe
  • Chief Rod Porter, Winnetka
  • Chief Joseph Ihde, Berwyn
  • Chief Ralph K. Reardon, Wilmette
  • Chief Howard Redding, North Chicago
  • Chief Herbert Schmidt, Riverside
  • Chief David Smith, Maywood
  • Chief William C. Watters, Oak Park
  • Chief Alfred F. Zay, River Forest

At a meeting held in Joliet, September 16, 1951 the Illinois Fire Chiefs’ Association was officially organized and the constitution of the association was adopted and ratified.

Chief Howard A. Redding, North Chicago was elected as the first President and Chief Alfred F. Zay, River Forest was elected as the first Secretary/Treasurer. Bruce Holmgren was named as the attorney for the association. The first conference was held in Bloomington Illinois, November 16-17, 1951 with Chief Roland Behrend as host. The conference was presided over by Chief Wayne Swanson, Rockford because Chief Howard Redding, President passed away during the interim between the organizational meeting and the conference.

Chief Rod Porter, Winnetka was elected President. Those in attendance at the first conference of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association were:

  • Chief Roland Behrend, Bloomington
  • Chief Charles Bickler, Elgin
  • Chief Francis Foor, Prospect Heights
  • Chief Arthur Holtz, Bartlett
  • Chief Oscar Johnson, Springfield
  • Chief Ray Kolze, Des Plaines
  • Chief Henry Lange, Forest Park
  • Asst Chief William Murphy, Evanston
  • Chief Rod Porter, Winnetka
  • Chief Howard Rindt, Danville
  • Chief Wayne Swanson, Rockford
  • Chief William Watters, Oak Park
  • Chief Ted Wesolowski, Cicero
  • Chief Alfred Zay, River Forest
PO Box 7, Skokie, IL 60076-0007
Tel: 847.966.0732 / 800.662.0732
Fax: 847.966.0782
Powered by Web site design and development by, Inc.