City of Batavia names new fire chief
The Batavia City Council approved the appointment of Craig Hanson as the new Chief of the Batavia Fire Department at the city council meeting May 16. Hanson has been the interim fire department chief since the January 2022 retirement of Chief Randy Deicke.
A firefighter and paramedic with over 40 years of experience, Hanson joined the Batavia Fire Department in 2017 as a deputy chief.
Hanson has been instrumental in ensuring Batavia continues to be recognized for providing the highest standards of public safety and he spearheaded the department’s efforts to achieve Class 1 Insurance Services Organization Public Protection designation.
His previous, additional leadership roles include serving as the assistant fire chief for the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District, as battalion chief for the City of St. Charles, and a shift commander for the City of Geneva.
“The citizens and businesses of Batavia are extremely fortunate to have Chief Hanson’s wealth of experience working for them. His extensive background in emergency service leadership can only enhance our already excellent fire department,” said Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke.
Hanson will lead a combination fire department of full-time, paid-on-call firefighters, paramedics, and administrative personnel.
Hanson holds degrees from Waubonsee Community College, Northern Illinois University, and Benedictine University where he earned his Master of Business Administration. Having grown up in Geneva and raising his family in St. Charles, Hanson is excited to continue as an instrumental part of the Tri-Cities serving Batavia.
Making a difference in people’s lives is what drew him to fire service, Hanson said.
“I feel a great personal satisfaction when I can enjoy a sense of community by working to provide a quality of life for others and contributing to a hometown atmosphere,” Hanson said. “I look forward to serving as this city’s fire chief and leading this exceptional department.
About the Batavia Fire Department
The Batavia Fire Department provides fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to the citizens of Batavia and the surrounding Batavia Township and Countryside Fire Protection District.
The department consists of 24 full-time members, 12 full-time paramedics, and 36 part-time members. Typically, there are five on-duty personnel at the normal the city's West Station and eight on-duty personnel at the East Station. There is an advanced life support ambulance in each fire station.
Additionally, the fire department has a state-of-the- art fleet of engines and rescue vehicles. Staff undergo extensive training exercises and drills, and attend educational classes, seminars, and conferences to ensure the department possesses the latest expertise in fire protection, rescue, and emergency medical techniques.
The Batavia Fire Department provides the following services:
- Blood pressure screening at either station at any time (free)
- Child safety seat inspections (free)
- CPR classes
- Fire extinguisher training
- Fire hydrant testing
- Fire inspections
- House address number enforcement
- Open burning enforcement
- Premise Alert Program for special needs residents
- Public fire education
- Smoke detector enforcement
- Station tours
The East Station, 800 E. Wilson St., is the department headquarters. The city's 911 calls are answered by Tri-Com, a consolidated fire, ambulance, and police dispatch center located in St. Charles for the cities of Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and Elburn.
The Fire Department responded to 4,105 calls for service in 2021. There were 1,688 fire/rescue/service calls and 2,417 emergency medical calls. The department responded to 525 requests for assistance to neighboring communities and Batavia requested assistance 185 times. Firefighter/Paramedics arrive on the scene of an incident in six minutes or less 92% of the time, maintaining an average response time of 4 minutes 35 seconds. The national standard for the response time to the scene of an incident is recommended to be six minutes or less.