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Specialty Teams

Fire/Arson Investigations Team

The Park Ridge Fire Department's Fire Investigation Unit currently has nine members who are certified by the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal in Fire Origin and Cause Determination. Three of our members are also certified as Arson Investigators. These investigators are responsible for determining the cause all fires that occur within the City of Park Ridge.

By attending seminars provided by the Illinois Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention's Fire Investigators Strike Force and others sponsored by various area fire departments, combined with case review forums and fire scene investigations, the Fire Investigation Unit members are consistently increasing their knowledge base and experience.

Questions regarding Fire/Arson Investigations, please forward them to Lieutenant Derek Decker .

Hazardous Materials Team (HAZMAT)

The Park Ridge Fire Department HAZMAT Response Team (HMRT) has six members at the Tech B -level, and six with Incident Command Training. Our team is part of the MABAS Division III team that includes personnel from 18 other departments.

The HMRT conducts training drills including suit training, use of monitors, tabletop drills, and a department-wide decontamination drill. Members also attend MABAS Division III HAZMAT training with the division team.

All of our equipment is currently carried on Park Ridge Squad 35 which is equipped to handle small hazardous materials incidents. Access is also available to the MABAS Division III HAZMAT squad that carries additional equipment for larger incidents.

Questions regarding HAZMAT, please forward them to Lt. Tim Debs .

"MABAS Division III HAZMAT Squad"

Technical Rescue Team (TRT)

The Park Ridge Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team (TRT) consists of eight members. The team maintains eight rescue technicians who are trained in high angle, below grade, structural collapse and trench rescues. These eight technicians are required to be members in good standing of the MABAS Division III Technical Rescue Team and maintain their active status per Division III policy. These certifications are conducted over an extended period of time, usually three-four years. Provisional members who are not required to participate in MABAS Division III training or respond to emergencies outside of the City of Park Ridge, maintain their skills through department TRT training.

To assure that the TRT maintains its required level of readiness and minimum number of rescue technicians, each shift maintains two technician level trained or operations level trained members. Operations level trained members are currently completing their training for technician level.

The TRT is coordinated by a team leader, FF/PM Bill Petersen, who attends MABAS Division III planning meetings and oversees team development, equipment purchases and training. He is also a member of the esteemed Illinois Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR).

Questions regarding TRT, please forward them to FF/PM Dave Malcomson.

Technical Rescue Teams - USAR Capability

An evolving capability is Technical Rescue Team Resources (TRT) now known as USAR "Light" (Urban Search and Rescue). Through the Statewide Mutual Aid Resource Flow Plan, an inventory of local TRT capabilities was achieved. Accordingly, 39 TRT's were identified with 23 teams currently capable to respond and the remainder requiring equipment, training or staffing improvements to attain response capability.

Technical Rescue Teams provide capabilities for victim extrication from below grade, high angle and structural collapse where entrapments exists. USAR deployment will occur through the TRT backbone structure statewide. Funding through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force includes $2,283,000 for basic TRT service equipment and $1,806,000 for USAR mobilization packages. The Technical Rescue Team has achieved many goals, and are dedicated to training, responding to, and rescuing people in need. 


MABAS Division III includes the North Shore communities bounded by Highland Park on the north, Evanston and Skokie on the south, Park Ridge and Prospect Heights on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. Currently, 18 North Shore departments belong to MABAS Division III, providing service from 35 stations with over 750 firefighters.

The MABAS system allows departments to serve citizens in ways far beyond the capabilities of any individual city. MABAS Division III shares cost effective specialized teams for hazardous material spill control, underwater rescue and recovery and specialized cave-in or high-angle rescues. Additional activities of MABAS Division III include cost saving joint purchasing between communities for fire trucks, engines, ambulances, tools, hose and equipment.

Recently, MABAS Division III has purchased and placed into service a new Rescue Squad, "Rescue 3" which is shared and housed on a rotational basis by the Division III communities.

Many Division III communities utilize automatic first response where the closest station responds when an incident occurs. Such automatic aid responses ignore geo-political boundaries between communities in the best interest of citizen service and cost effectiveness.

Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team

The Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team (URRT) serves as a comprehensive water rescue and recovery team for the community. The URRT also responds to many neighboring communities and throughout several MABAS Divisions as requested. The team continues to prepare for any incidents related to their rescue discipline, drilling with others to improve individual and team abilities, and strengthening cooperation with other departments should a complex or prolonged incident occur.

Questions regarding our URRT, please forward them Team Leader FF/PM Frank Villari.

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