Peoria Fire Department

Peoria Public Radio/Tanya Koonce

The Peoria Fire Department could respond to 2400 fewer calls a year. That’s according to a study by Fitch and Associates. Those calls are non-emergency medical calls like assistance in lifting a person who has fallen.

Peoria Weighs Fire Department Fees

Feb 13, 2019
Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

The Peoria city council will soon decide if the fire department should charge a fee for certain responses.

Peoria Fire Stations Hang Wreaths With Meaning

Nov 30, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  The Peoria Fire Department is using an annual campaign to remind people about holiday fire safety. The department is promoting its 23rd annual “Keep the Wreath Red” campaign.

Fire stations around the city switch the lights on their holiday wreaths from red to white for every fire they respond to between now and January 1st.

Peoria Evaluates Cost of 2019 Cuts and Fees

Nov 6, 2018


The City of Peoria could be making personnel cuts to its police and fire departments for the first time in years. Other areas will take cuts too and the city is considering new fees as it faces a $6 to $7-million deficit next year.

Peoria Continues to Negotiate Projected Deficit

Oct 24, 2018

  The City of Peoria will have fewer firefighters and policemen next year. But it will be through voluntary retirement, not city imposed layoffs.

The city council Tuesday night unanimously voted to establish a voluntary separation incentive. It allows older public safety employees to retire earlier than anticipated and still participate in the city’s healthcare plan for several years.

It was EPIC Firefighter Day at the Peoria Fire Department’s Central House. Peoria firefighters and managers hosted 20 EPIC participants.

Some Worry PFD Money Saving Strategy Will Cost Safety

May 30, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio


  The Peoria Fire Department is on a path toward spending $22-million this year. That’s $1.5-million more than its annual budget.

Much of that deficit can be attributed to overtime pay because the department has operated with a turnover rate of 10 percent.

The department is currently down 10 positions. The agency has not been able to fill those positions in a timely manner because of lengthy training.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio


A man was killed in a house fire last night just before 10 P.M.. Peoria Firefighters and Paramedics responded to 952 S. Shelly St. to find the house fully engulfed. Extra manpower was necessary to knock down the fire.

Mike Broatch / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Peoria Fire Department is reporting four arsons over a four-day period. Two car and two house fires since Saturday are being investigated, after it was determined they were intentionally set. Arson investigators say each fire involved a large amount of accelerant, and each was set in the middle of the night.


The Peoria Fire Department has an expanded advanced life support presence in the city. A new pilot program was authorized by Peoria Area Emergency Services. 

A New Voice Calls Peoria Firefighters Into Action

Dec 5, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Fire Department has a new emergency alert system. It’s an automated voice that makes the initial pronouncement for EMS and fire calls. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports on the voice teaming up with human 911 dispatchers:

Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria City Council is close to approving its 2018 budget except for one contentious item -- the mothballing of a fire truck.

City of Peoria Eyes Budget Cut Options

Oct 25, 2017

In the face of declining revenue, Peoria city staff has proposed a net cut of 11 workers to help balance the 2018 budget.

Peoria Firefighters Lay To Rest One Of Their Own

Sep 29, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Firefighters, family and friends of 54-year-old Captain Gary Stauthammer are saying farewell and honoring his life and service.

Stauthammer was a 28-year member of the Peoria Fire Department. He started as a rookie firefighter in 1989.

Peoria Fire Chief Chuck Lauss says Captain Stauthammer spent a number of years working in the hazardous material division handling hazmat inspections.

Glen Oak Towers Fire Death Result of Lit Cigarette

May 10, 2017

A man who died in the fire last month at Glen Oak Tower in Peoria was asleep, when a lit cigarette incinerated his couch and the rest of his one-bedroom apartment.

The 42 year-old Peoria man killed in the fire at Glen Oak Towers Sunday evening died of smoke inhalation.

Creative Commons

The Peoria City Council is exploring options for adding advanced life support services at more of its firehouses.

Peoria Fire Department Gets Training Gift

Mar 10, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Dynegy Edwards Power Station donated six top level hazmat suits to the Peoria Fire Department for training purposes. The suits are valued at about $9000.


Ted Lindenbusch is the managing director of the Dynegy Edwards Power Station. He says they had the suits and weren’t using any more.


Dynegy purchased the Edwards Power Station about four years ago.

Peoria's fire chief says five arsons over about 24 hours have destroyed vacant buildings within a half-mile of one another on the city's south side.

Chief Chuck Lauss says the only characteristic shared among the fires was that each was deliberately set. He says it's not clear how many people are responsible.

Fires in South Peoria Investigated as Arson

Dec 23, 2016

A group of fires in South Peoria are being investigated as arson.

Peoria Fire Chief Chuck Lauss says five of the six fires in the last three days were set on purpose.

The Chief says right now arson investigators are looking for common threads, including what was used to set the fires and anyone seen in the area at the time of the events.

All the fires have been in vacant buildings within a 7 or 8 block radius.

sun dazed / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Peoria Fire Department is reminding people about changing their smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries at the same time they set their clocks back.

The annual fall back time change happens at 2am Sunday, making it 1am.  

Peoria Fire Department Prevention Division Chief Phillip Maclin says they are also encouraging people to check the manufacture date of smoke detectors. 

Steven Maloney/ Facebook

Fire officials in Peoria now say they believe a blaze at the abandoned historic downtown Madison Theater was caused by arson.

Peoria Fire Department Receives Grant for New Gear

Apr 29, 2016
tigerschmittendorf / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Peoria Fire Department has received a $2,500 grant from Ameren Illinois to offset the cost of purchasing new safety gear and equipment.

The funds will help equip new firefighters with a pair of steel-toed boots, fire resistant pants, fire resistant coat, leather firefighting gloves, a helmet, and a self-contained breathing apparatus, the City of Peoria said in a news release. The grant funds come from the Ameren Cares program.

Peoria Fire Chief Announces November 27th Retirement

Nov 6, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

Longtime Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomblin says he will retire from the post later this month.  Tomblin says he will end his 37-year-career in the Peoria Fire Department November 27th.  Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Lauss will become the next permanent chief.  Tomblin’s retirement comes months after the Firefighters Union voted “no-confidence” in the chief this spring.  Tomblin has served as fire chief for eight years.  

Peoria Police Department Facebook page

  The Peoria Police Department is implementing a new emergency communications system today. Peoria Police started using the new digital radio interface with sign-on this morning.  The Peoria County Sheriff's Office has been using the system since earlier this year. The Peoria Fire Department is set to transition June 23.  The the digital system upgrade replaces the decades-old analog infrastructure. The new technology adds capability for first responders to have direct interagency communication.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The 15-year old Peoria boy swept away in a rain-swollen creek yesterday has been found. 

Demarcus Jackson was transported to OSF Medical Center in Peoria. Police say Demarcus Jackson was swimming in the creek Sunday afternoon when he was pulled downstream by a strong current. His brother and friend were able to escape the creek. Efforts to find the boy were suspended Sunday night because of high water levels combined with the current. Peoria police said then the search would resume once the creek was safer for firefighters.  But Peoria Police Captain Mike Scally says Jackson was found about 7:30 this morning: 

Peoria’s fire stations will continue to serve as warming centers as bitterly cold temperatures move into the area this week. The service is offered 24 hours a day. 

Peoria Fire Department is hoping it has fewer fires to respond to this holiday season. The department is promoting its 19th annual “Keep the Wreath Red” campaign.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Fire Department has received nearly 50 calls for pipes that are breaking as they thaw. That means what people are using to thaw pipes is a point of caution.  

Peoria Fire Dept. warns of carbon monoxide poisoning

Oct 25, 2013

The Peoria Fire Department is reminding residents of the importance of carbon monoxide detectors as temperatures cool, and area residents begin to turn on their furnaces.