Western Springs Fire and Rescue Association

Department History

The Western Springs Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services was founded in 1894 with Elmore Patterson as its first Fire Marshall and 10 volunteer firefighters.  The Department started with a rented barn and equipment that cost $155.  In 1937 a national firefighter tournament was held at Soldier Field and the Western Springs Fire Department won the National Championship in the volunteer firefighter division defeating Colorado Springs, CO.  The Department has continued this tradition of excellence through extensive training and professional performance today operating three fire engines, one ladder truck, and two ambulances with 53 department members. 

In 1948 the Department became the first fire department in the area to provide emergency ambulance service with the acquisition of a new Cadillac ambulance acquired with funds raised through scrap drives.  In 1972, the Department adopted the State Emergency Medical Technician program and began training personnel as EMTs.  In 1979 the Western Springs paramedic program was born with support from the community and a group of volunteer members trained as paramedics.  The paramedic program was the very first in the area and now is the standard of care throughout the country.  Today, emergency medical services are provided by a staff of career firefighter/paramedics on duty 24/7 augmented by on-call EMS personnel.   The Western Springs Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services began with volunteers and it continues today with a cost efficient and highly effective combination of career firefighter / paramedics and local residents who serve as paid-on-call personnel.  For more than 100 years when someone in Western Springs has had a fire or a medical emergency, their neighbors have come to help them. 

Website Builder