Mt. Prospect's fire chief gets peer group's top honor

Mount Prospect Fire Chief Michael Figolah has been named 2008 Fire Chief of the Year by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

On May 16, he will be honored at the organization's annual meeting in Peoria.

Figolah was picked for his "fire service accomplishments, including public education and life-safety advancement, innovative and entrepreneurial efforts and accomplishments, education and scholastic achievements, significant public service performance and contributions to the Illinois Fire Service," according to the selection committee.

Figolah has been with the Mount Prospect Fire Department since 1984, serving as chief since 1998.

Prior to Mount Prospect, he served as a firefighter/paramedic and lieutenant with the West Dundee Fire Department.

Figolah has served as the president of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance since 1998.

Huntley Fire Chief Jim Saletta, who nominated Figolah for the award, said this of his time as IFSA president: "During his tenure as president, he has initiated many fire safety programs that impact the fire service locally, statewide and nationally."

Figolah worked on the Mount Prospect Safe Schools Committee and Standardized School Crisis Plan, which was implemented this year.

Figolah was instrumental in obtaining a $225,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve and strengthen school crisis plans and schools' overall response to emergencies.

All 16 of Mount Prospect's schools have adopted a standardized school crisis plan.

Help in a crisis: If you want to help residents with medical assistance during times of emergencies -- from tornadoes to terrorist attacks -- you can now join the new Mount Prospect Medical Reserve Corp.

It will pull together volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals and other health-care workers to supplement village resources if disaster strikes, village officials said.

Seniors ride for less: The Discount Taxicab Program in Prospect Heights gives senior citizens and disabled residents living in the city a chance to take a cab at a discount.

The program is based on the meter fare for all rides. Residents may travel to locations outside of Prospect Heights, excluding O'Hare Airport, as well as within town. The city will pay 50 percent of the meter fare, up to $3 and the participant will pay the remainder.

For more information on the program, call the village at (847) 398-6070.

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