The Harvard Fire Protection District is located in Northwest McHenry County, Illinois. The district is 108.5 square miles making it one of the largest districts in Illinois. We serve the City of Harvard and unincorporated Harvard including farms, rural subdivisions and small communities such as Chemung and Lawrence. We are responsible for about 16,000 residents as well as anyone visiting or traveling through our district.
Our history dates back to February of 1865 just two months before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The Town of Harvard approved a law to organize and establish fire companies for prevention and extinguishment of fires.
In December of 1945 a board of trustees was formed for the Harvard Rural Fire Protection District. At this time there were two departments, city and rural with one Fire Chief leading both departments. This continued as two department working together until November of 1971 when both merged creating the Harvard Fire Protection District.
In May of 1956 the Harvard Rescue Squad went into operation as volunteer organization providing emergency first aid at fires, vehicle accidents and transporting suffering people to the hospital. Over the years the Squad progressed with advanced training and equipment to an Advanced Life Support organization. As cost, training and demand increased it made sense for the Harvard Fire Protection District to absorb the Rescue Squad making a complete Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Service operation.
Today there are 49 part-time professional firefighters employed by the District. Each firefighter must be trained and certified by the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal and Emergency Medical Technician certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Our station is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with Advanced Life Support ambulances and certified Firefighters. “Paid on Premises” staffing is four Firefighters, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Should an event escalate we are supported by on call Firefighters who respond from their home.