Skokie Fire Department History

Clip artIn 2003, Skokie Public Library received a grant to digitize materials documenting the history of the Skokie Fire Department.  Approximately seven hundred photographs, documents, and artifacts were digitized, all of them housed in the Historical Society and collected by Ron Smith of the Skokie Fire Department.  Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, and State Librarian Jesse White, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the federal Library Services and Technology Act.

For more information on this project or about Skokie history, send an email to a Skokie Public Library Reference Librarian or contact the Information Services Desk at 847.673.3733.

Accidents and incidents   Fire prevention and classes
Cash receipts   Fire stations and other facilities
Documents and artifacts   Fires
Fire and Police Commission manual   Niles Centre Volunteer Fire Company cash book
Fire drills   Our Fire Fighter coloring book
Fire engines and other vehicles   Parades, open houses, and other events
Fire fighters   Other fire department histories
     

Accidents and IncidentsPhoto

This is a collection of photographs of accidents involving automobiles, trucks, or public transportation, in which the Skokie Fire Department was called to assist in rescue operations or fire extinction.  For images of the Skokie Fire Department in action at fires, see the section on Fires.

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Cash Receipts

This is a collection of handwritten, numbered receipts detailing various expenditures of the Niles Centre Volunteer Fire Company, covering the period 1933 through 1939.  These receipts were originally interleaved in the Niles Centre Volunteer Fire Company Cash Book.

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Documents and ArtifactsPhoto

This collection contains documents and artifacts that pertain to the history of the Skokie Fire Department.  For images that show some of the people named in these documents, see the Fire Fighters collection.

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PhotoFire and Police Commission Manual

This nineteen-page document, dated 1945, is the Village of Skokie Fire and Police Commission manual.  It sets out the rules for examinations, hiring, promotion, and removal from the Fire and Police Departments.

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Fire Drills

This collection consists of photographs of fire drills conducted by the Skokie Fire Department. For images of actual fires, see the section on Fires.

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PhotoFire Engines and Other Vehicles

This is a collection of photographs of fire engines, fire trucks, ambulances, and cars belonging to the Skokie Fire Department.  For images of fire stations and other facilities, see the section on Fire Stations and Other Facilities.

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Fire FightersPhoto

This is a collection of photographs featuring fire fighters from the Skokie Fire Department.  To see images of some of these fire fighters in action, check the sections on Fires or Fire Drills.  For a roster of members of the Niles Center Volunteer Fire Company as of October 21, 1884, see the Documents and Artifacts collection.

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PhotoFire Prevention and Classes

This collection documents some of the efforts of the Skokie Fire Department to promote fire prevention.  To view photographs of the Skokie Fire Department's participation in other community events, see the section on Parades, Open Houses, and Other Events.

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Fire Stations and Other FacilitiesPhoto

This collection features photographs of the Skokie Fire Department's various fire stations, engine houses, and drill towers.  For images of fire engines, ambulances, and other Fire Department vehicles, see the Fire Engines and Other Vehicles collection.

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Fires

PhotoThis collection consists of photographs of fires in Skokie and neighboring municipalities.  Many of these photographs depict the aftermath of fires, showing damage incurred by the fire and by the process of extinguishing it.

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Niles Centre Volunteer Fire Company Cash Book

Handwritten treasury book of the Niles Centre Volunteer Fire Company, covering the period 1899 through 1938.  This 89-page register lists all income and expenditures for the Fire Company and is interleaved with receipts for various expenditures.

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PhotoOur Fire Fighter Coloring Book

This item, published in 1976 for the Skokie Fire Department, describes a day in the life of a fire fighter.  For other documents pertaining to the history of the Skokie Fire Department, see the Documents and Artifacts collection.

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Parades, Open Houses, and Other EventsPhoto

Over the years, the Skokie Fire Department has been very visible in the Village of Skokie, participating in parades and hosting open houses and demonstrations.  This collection consists of photographs of some of those events.  For photographs of fire fighters individually and in groups, see the section on Fire Fighters.

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Other Fire Department Histories

  • Cincinnati Fire Department History
    This is a rich and informative site documenting the entire history of the Cincinnati Fire Department, established in 1853.  It includes photographs, maps, articles, and a searchable roster of fire fighters.
  • History of the San Francisco Fire Department
    Part of the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, this site features photographs, biographies, and department reports.
  • New York City Fire Department
    The Fire Department of New York City has an official history featuring mostly current information including photographs, press releases, and memorials to department members lost in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.  The Heritage and History section includes information about the origin of the Maltese Cross and the history of emergency medical services in New York. The unofficial FDNY Web page has a wealth of historical and current photographs and information, including a “What Happened On This Day” feature.
  • Indianapolis Fire Department has histories of engines and stations, as well as a general history of the department and photographs.
  • Valparaiso, Indiana Fire Department History includes detailed articles on favorite equipment and canine companions, as well as historical photographs.

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