History of the ALFPD
  • Algonquin Fire Brigade established Fall of 1895
  • First recorded purchase of Firefighting equipment was a 600 feet length of hose and nozzles for $315.75 on October 1, 1895.
  • First mobile Firefighting equipment purchased was 2 used hose carts from the Village of Rock Island for $50 each on November 5, 1895. Cost of these carts when they were new was $265 each.
  • Ladders, axes, and play pipes (of the best kind) were purchased on January 7, 1896.
  • On February 4, 1896 the Village of Algonquin paid $43.50 in labor to remodel and install a bell on the barn that housed 1 hose cart. The barn was owned by Mr. Winholp located in the downtown area of the Village.
  • The 1st recorded Fire Marshal appointed by Village President John Peter on February 4, 1896 was Marshal Charles Wandrock.
  • May 5, 1896: the 2nd hose cart barn was built on the school grounds for a cost of $51.30.
  • Possibly the 1st fire hydrant was installed on December 12, 1896 in the Village in the area of the railroad tracks at a cost of $70.
  • In 1911, the Fire Brigade moved into its new quarters which is presently the Historic Village Hall at 2 South Main Street.
  • In 1926, the Algonquin Fire Department purchased their 1st motorized Fire Engine from Peter Pirsch & Sons in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • September 9, 1950 was the 1st meeting of the newly formed Algonquin Fire Protection District.
    • Donald Baily was appointed Fire Chief and paid $100 per year.
    • Carl Berkley was appointed Assistant Chief and paid $50 per year.
    • Trustees were: Walter Debb - President, Ray Platt - Secretary, John Culp - Treasurer
    • Firemen were: James Abbott, Lewis Albright, Albert Bohl, Kenneth Egerton, Carl Kublank Jr, William Markowitz, Claude Michaelis, Herman Naatz Jr, John Podhorsky, Harry Rick, Glen Ritt, Alvin Rogman, Clifford Rogman, Milton Schuett, William Simonini, Orval Wagner, and Paul Wendt.
  • First Fire District bills were paid on November 14, 1950 totaling $319.71.
    • Fire District paid rent to the Village of Algonquin for Fire Truck storage at the rate of $25 per month.
  • August 14, 1951: Firemen were given $2 per hour (for time putting out a fire)
  • June 10, 1952: Paul Wendt was appointed Fire Chief and Bud Wagner was appointed Assistant Chief; Paul Wendt served as Fire Chief until November 30, 1976.
  • February 13, 1953: First fire phone installed in Fire Chief's house
  • March 10, 1953: Trailer hitches were installed on all members' cars to pull boats
  • January 12, 1954: new fire house bid from Enock S. Johnson was accepted totaling $32,536.17
  • In 1954, the Fire Department moved into new quarters at 302 North Harrison Street in Algonquin
  • In 1965, the Fire District opened its 2nd fire house at 2 East Oak Street in Lake in the Hills
  • June 10, 1974 (PDF), Fred Kempe and Charles E. Cooper Jr. were hired as the 1st full-time firefighters.
  • December 6, 1976 (PDF), the 1st meeting of the newly elected Board of Trustees was seated (Trustees were previously appointed). John Helfert drew for the 6-year term, Dick Ritt drew the 4-year and Cletus Nockels received a term of 2 years. Because of the fact that he received the majority of the votes in the Trustee Election, it was motioned that John Helfert be President of the Board. Cletus Nockels served as Secretary, and Dick Ritt was Treasurer.
  • July 16, 1977 (PDF), John Helfert resigned as Trustee President and Chief Executive Officer (he had been assuming the role of Fire Chief with no pay since he took office in December 1976), and was hired as the District's full-time Fire Chief; his starting salary was $18,000.
  • November 14, 1978 (PDF), the name of the Fire District was changed to the "Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District"

Fire Chiefs

Name From To
Michael J. Kern April 1, 2019 Present
Peter Van Dorpe
August 7, 2015
April 1, 2019
Patrick J. Mullen
April 24, 2013
August 7, 2015
Kevin J. Rynders
May 1, 2009
January 11, 2013
Steven G. Guetschow
March 1, 2003
April 30, 2009
Stephen M. Kite
October 1, 1987
February 28, 2003
John E. Helfert, Jr.
July 16, 1977
September 30, 1987
Paul Wendt*
June 10, 1952
November 30, 1976
Donald Bailey
September 9, 1950
May 5, 1952
Walter Schuett
1935 1950
Joseph Johnson
1916 1935
Frank Koch
1914 1916
E.C. Andruss
1911 1914
A. E. Rathburn
1903 1911
A. Wilbrandt
December 12, 1901
Ed Morton Jr.
May 7, 1901
December 11, 1901
Charles Wandrack
February 4, 1896
May 6, 1901
* November 11, 1967: Paul Wendt became the first full-time Fire Chief in all of McHenry County.