August 22, 2019
Fire Department News
The Pontiac Fire Department has received a $2,000 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.

The award has been used to purchase fire investigation equipment for the newly established Pontiac Fire Department Investigation Unit. The unit is led by Captain Joe Hassinger and assisted by Firefighter Jeremy Highland, Firefighter Eddie Prendergast, and Firefighter Caleb Freese.

Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 40 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of Illinois-based organizations.

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants to fire departments—as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide—that best demonstrate a need for funding, where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.
The Pontiac Fire Department has promoted from within to fill several positions after Chief Runyon's retirement:

Jacob Campbell was sworn in as Fire Chief at the Monday, August 19th City Council meeting. He has been a member of the department since 2002 when he joined as a volunteer. He was then promoted to paid on call before being hired as a full-time Engineer in 2005. He rose through the ranks to Lieutenant in 2013 and Captain in 2017. He has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in General Studies and a minor in Fire Administration from Western Illinois University and well as an Associate Degree in Fire Science from John Wood Junior College. He has several state certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshall of Illinois (OSFM) and is currently enrolled in the Chief Fire Officer Certification Program through the Illinois Fire Chief's Association.

Joseph Hassinger was promoted to Captain and will assume the role of shift commander for A Shift. Serving 15 years in the fire service, he holds and Associate Degree in Fire Science from Parkland College and several certifications from OSFM including Fire Officer I.

Andrew Vitzthum was promoted to Lieutenant and will assume the role of company officer for C Shift. He joined the department in 2006 as a volunteer. He has an Associate Degree in Fire Service Technology from Parkland College and several certifications from OSFM including Advance Firefighter.
Meet the City of Pontiac Department Heads
It takes a lot of talented and dedicated people to keep the city going. Each week we'll be introducing two new department heads - learn about them and what their departments do to keep the city running smoothly!
Jim Woolford - Pontiac Police Chief
What did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut or a rock star

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Liverwurst

Favorite thing to do in Pontiac? Enjoy the parks and school events/sports

How long have you lived in Pontiac? 25 years

What else would you like people to know about you? I have an amazing wife, family, and faith

FAQs or misconceptions about your department? Even though police in the US have come under a lot of scrutiny and officers are dealing with circumstances unseen before, we are still not being asked to do something we are not prepared or unwilling to do.
Jake Campbell - Pontiac Fire Chief
What did you want to be when you grew up? A firefighter or a doctor

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pasta and steak

Favorite thing to do in Pontiac? Attend the local farmers' market with my family and attend local sporting events.

How long have you lived in Pontiac? 37 years

What else would you like people to know about you? One of my favorite things to do in life is vacation in New Buffalo and Benton Harbor, Michigan every year.

FAQs or misconceptions about your department? We do not have a "fire dog" or fire pole at our firehouse.
What's happening in Pontiac?
August 23: Movies Under the Stars
August 24: Pontiac Farmers' Market
August 24: Master Gardener's Presentation
August 24: Poetry Reading
August 28 : Community Blood Drive
August 28 : Move More, Sit Less with OSF and Pontiac Parks and Rec
August 29-Sept 2: Threshermen's Reunion
August 31 : Pontiac Farmers' Market
September 1: Threshermen's Parade
City of Pontiac | Website | 815-844-3396 | pontiac@pontiac.org