Chief Craig Haigh
Craig A. Haigh began his fire service career in 1983 as a volunteer in his hometown of Hampton (IL). He served as Hampton’s volunteer fire chief from 1991 – 1995. During that time, he developed and implemented their EMT-Intermediate/Advanced EMT program. In 1988 he was hired full time as a firefighter with the City of Rock Island (IL) Fire Department. He ultimately was appointed as their first EMS Coordinator and as such developed and implemented the department’s paramedic program. He left Hampton and Rock Island in 1995 to become the first paid fire chief of the King (NC) Volunteer Fire Department. There he was tasked with transitioning the all-volunteer department into a combination agency (volunteer and paid employees). While in King he served as the primary architect responsible for merging the independent volunteer department into the City of King making it a municipal government agency.
He returned to Illinois in 2002 to serve as Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Management for the Village of Hanover Park. He was the 2012 Illinois Career Fire Chief of the Year. Chief Haigh also works as a Field Staff Instructor with the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) where he has been since 1995. In his work at the University of Illinois he is a regular partner with IFSI Research and Skidmore College First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory. He is the recipient of the 2019 International Association of Fire Chiefs -Chief Alan Brunacini Executive Safety Award given for his work in developing operational practices based on scientific research in an effort to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries due to cardiovascular/medical events.
In addition to his duties as Hanover Park’s Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Management, Chief Haigh has served as the Interim Village Manager and was also tasked with the creation of the Inspectional Services Division. This new division merged fire prevention, the building department, and the health department into a single agency under the control of the fire department. He also created, implemented, and has managed the Village’s strategic planning program. He frequently does work as an independent fire service consultant working on a variety of management/leadership projects. He presents and speaks internationally. He has written numerous training programs for the fire service and is the author of more than thirty fire service trade journal articles. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire and Safety Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership. He is a graduate of the United States National Fire Academy – Executive Fire Officer Program, is a nationally certified paramedic, an accredited Chief Fire Officer, and a Member of the Institute of Fire Engineers. He is married to his wife Beth and they have two adult children, Melody and Lee.