In 2012 Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services responded to 9,330 calls for service, making it the busiest year in the 138-year history of the department. It is possible, though, that totals for 2013 may top those. Pictured above are the firefighters/paramedics of Engine 22 with Fire Chief Greg Klaiber, far left. Photo from Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services

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The City’s Fire & Life Safety Services held its Departmental Award Ceremony on Dec. 12, honoring both firefighters/paramedics and residents for rendering emergency care or assistance before the firefighter/paramedic team arrived.

In a ceremony organized by Division Chiefs Dwight Hohl and Thomas Janetske, Fire Chief Greg Klaiber presented Chief’s letters of commendation, special recognition awards, citizen commendations  and the partnership award. 

“The members of Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services have taken an oath to save lives and protect the property of those who live, work and play in Evanston.  Each and every day, these professional firefighters and paramedics do so with passion, dedication and commitment to those they serve.  On a daily basis I observe how the men and women of our Department respond to emergencies and care for our citizens, and I could not be more proud,” said Chief Klaiber.


A swift shift in tactics from “offensive to defensive and back to offensive” was the decisive factor in saving the historic structure at 1301 Judson Ave., said Chief Klaiber in commending Shift Chief William Muno.

Quick thinking and selfless action by Elidah Hall and Alexandra Mitrea saved the life of a child who had wandered into Lake Michigan without her mother’s knowledge.

Ms. Hall spotted the child, called out for help, and Ms. Mitrea, who was out for a run, came to help. The Chief’s citizen commendation reads, “Without regard for their safety the two women entered the lake and were able to pull the child to safety. For your actions you will be awarded the Fire chief’s Citizen Commendation.

Commendations for citizen heroism also went to Michael Prah, and to Jeffrey DeBettencourt and Jonathan Gleason of Northwestern Univeristy.

The Fire Chief’s letters of commendation went to the following persons and companies: Division Chief Geoff Block; Shift Chiefs William Muno and Jeffrey McDermott; and to Engine 23, two companies of Engine 22, Truck 23, Ambulance 21 and two companies of Ambulance 22.

Special Recognition went to firefighter/paramedic Megan Kamarchevakul, firefighter/paramedic Daniel Philipaitis and firefighter/paramedic Andrew Jakus in the Explorer Program, Timothy Gobat in Social Media and dispatchers Jesse Ramsay, Carl Hasten and Richard Clucas.

Terry Maday and Oscar Ayala received the Fire Chief’s Partnership Award for their video, presented at the annual Northwestern University/Evanston Chamber of Commerce mashup.      

Other awards went to the companies of Ambulance 22, Engine 25, Truck 23, Truck 22, Engine 22, Engine 23, Engine 24, Ambulance 21, Ambulance 22, Engine 21, Truck 22, two companies of Engine 21, Ambulance 21 and Truck 22.