By Gregory Harutunian


Plans for a museum and a garage to house two antique fire engines will be moved forward with a benefit pig roast and open house set for Sunday, Oct. 9 by the Richmond Township Fire Protection District.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is being staged behind the fire station at 5601 Hunter Drive in Richmond.

The idea to honor the district’s history quietly started building momentum more than five years ago. It was formed by concerned citizens seeking to initiate a fire department in 1926, and the operation is manned by a volunteer crew that has become a valuable resource through the MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System), associated with other departments in Illinois and Wisconsin.

“We’ve been pursuing this goal for the last six years, and other benefit efforts have helped raise some funds toward getting it off the ground,” said Rick Gallas, the district’s fire chief. “It really will give a home to our two antique fire trucks, one of them is the first apparatus the district ever purchased. The structure will also honor the district’s history and personnel with memorabilia and displays.”

According to the history section of the district’s website (, the first truck purchased for use was “…from the Peter Pirsch Fire Company in Kenosha. It was a 1926 International with a 500 gallon per minute mid-ship pump, (and) chemical tanks mounted on top of a four-cylinder Lycoming engine.”

“For now, we’re concentrating on the pig roast as a family activity, and a chance for our residents to come out, eat, and have a good time,” said Gallas. “The cooking is taking place behind the station, and there will be enough…seconds are allowed. The other thing is the station is having an open house for district residents to see what our job is all about.

“Kids can come in, and climb on the trucks, and get a sense of what it’s like to be a fireman…it’s all for fun, and we want everyone to enjoy themselves.”

The station grounds have seen improvements over the last few years including the reconstruction of the back area parking lot and alleyway.

Gallas has written grant applications to the Federal government during the past few years, which have been successful in securing new fire-fighting pieces such as transponders, radios, pagers, and thermal imaging equipment for use in actual emergency response situations.

“State Sen. Pam Althoff of McHenry was instrumental in securing funding through a grant that helped us with the remedial and repair work to the back lot,” he said. “The improvements to the district resources through the grant awards have been very helpful. For this effort, with the garage and museum, it’s something that will last.”

Tickets for the pig roast are $10 for adults, and $5 for ages 6-14, and are available at the firehouse. For more information, call (815) 678-3672.


In other village news

The discussion on the village administrator position set for the Oct. 6 full board meeting has been removed from the evening’s agenda, and will take place at a later date. The forum was intended to review options related to the vacant post that had been proffered by the village’s Personnel Ad Hoc Committee.


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