The Garden Homes Fire Protection District (GHFPD) was founded in 1940. It was established due to an incident near 117th Street & Avers Avenue, where a resident's home burned to the ground because it took too long for other local fire departments to respond to the area. Since there was not an actual fire station at the time, the first vehicles were parked at the homes of the original 15 men that founded the department.
During the Spring of 1945, the land, which our station currently sits on, was anonymously donated & the station was built brick by brick by the dedicated residents of our community. Over the years, the station has been added onto & remodeled due to generous donations and the work of the members of the department.
Over the years, the following men (to the best of our knowledge) have served the department as our fire chief:
Tony Bater Chuck Roepke Ben Forgue Lawrence Huttner
Floyd Grajek Ray Schwenn Ray Vinicky Henry Bertram
Gene Zedak Bill Osting Michael Kurent Rick Koopman
Thomas Styczynski Earl Abercrombie Steven McCain Scott Bluhm
During the past 80 years, the nature of the responses and the tools at our disposal have changed but GHFPD still serves a small section of approximately 350 homes located unincorporated Cook County, Illinois. This community is bordered by the City of Chicago, the Village of Alsip, and the Village of Merrionette Park.
GHFPD participates as a member of the Illinois Mutual Aid and Box Alarm System, Division 22, alongside the fire departments of Alsip, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Crestwood, Merrionette Park, Midlothian, Posen, and Robbins. In addition, we are a member of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts and the Illinois Fire Chiefs' Association.
Our members receive no monetary compensation for their services and proudly carry on the traditions of our founders as the last 100% volunteer fire department in the Chicagoland area.