Welcome to the home page of the Professional
Firefighters of Lake Zurich Local #3191. Our Local was
chartered in 1987. Local #3191 is composed of
Firefighter/Paramedics and Lieutenants totaling 51 100% active
members strong! We are proud members of the
International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI).
Lake Zurich fire fights for larger
federal radio grant
$218,000 federal grant to help finance Lake
Zurich Fire Department radio needs
October 5, 2015, 3:30 PM
When Lake Zurich was offered a grant for
$100,000 less than it needed to buy new radios, acting Fire
Chief John Kelly
remained determined, he said.
"A Washington, D.C., FEMA official called,
asked a couple of questions and asked me to put in exactly what
" Kelly recalled. "I did it and called him
back, and he said OK. It just took a phone call and a couple,
few sentences of an
amendment. The guy understood and restored
The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
which oversees the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance
Firefighters Grant program, awarded
Lake Zurich a $218,850 grant to buy 43 radios that will allow
the Fire Rescue Department
to continue communication with area police
and aid partners as they transition to a new radio system, Kelly
Lake Zurich must match at least 10 percent
of the grant to cover the full cost of about $240,000, he said.
Incoming Fire Chief John Malcolm, who takes
over Oct. 19, praised Kelly for taking the initiative to secure
and free up local dollars for other uses.
"It's always a great thing for the
department and the community that you can take advantage of
grants and have money
available for other projects," Malcolm
Lake Zurich plans to purchase 23 dual-band
portable radios and 20 single-band mobile radios, Kelly said.
The new radios
will allow fire rescue personnel to
communicate with Lake Zurich, Kildeer and Hawthorn Woods police,
who are transitioning
soon with Lake County police to the StarCom
21 statewide trunked radio system, he said.
"It's a key piece of equipment we use,"
Malcolm said. "Interoperability is paramount in what we do. We
have to be able to talk
to other staff and the police department
and our automatic aid partners, so we can communicate with
As the transition to Starcom 21 occurs in
the coming months, the current radio frequencies used by Lake
will become extinct, Kelly said.
The trunked StarCom 21 radio system is a
computer-controlled two-way radio system that allows the sharing
of relatively few
frequency channels among a large group of
users, he said.
“It could be Lake Zurich or a Lake County
talk group," Kelly said. "There are so many (channels) within
each frequency. A
particular segment of the trunk is open,
and you can talk on it. If you don't have the radio and
programming, you're not going to
be able to hear it. The radio signal and
computer system decides how to assign you within a talk group."
Assistance to Firefighters Grants are
awarded through a competitive application process to fire
medical services organizations and state
fire training academies, he said.
"They put out an announcement annually,"
Kelly said. "They lay out guidelines of how to apply, steps you
need to go through,
specifically about what funding is
available. There is a peer review. If you do not fill it out
correctly, the computer kicks out
your application and you're done."
Phil Rockrohr is a freelance reporter for
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
Live fire training. Photo's courtesy of Tim Olk.