John K. Hayden "Keach"
Student (Class of 1952) and Fire Chief


John K. Hayden was Arlington Heights Fire Department Chief from 1972 until he retired in 1984. He joined the Arlington Heights Fire Department in 1957.

He developed the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System with personnel from Elk Grove Fire Department in the late 1960's (see so fire departments could use pre-planned coordination of resources to resolve major events. Arlington Heights Fire Station 2 was the original command center for dispatching for MABAS Division 1. The system used simple index cards called "box cards" and was modeled after Chicago Fire Department's alarm system. In 2002 the MABAS organization is comprised of almost 600 agencies which have expanded their original roles with specialized teams for hazardous material spill control, underwater rescue and recovery and specialized cave-in or high-angle rescues. The organization is also expanding outside Illinois and may be affected by new changes in Homeland Security.

In 1972, Hayden helped develop the paramedic program within the Arlington Heights Fire Department, which was part of a broader Emergency Medical System that also began in 1972.

In 1973, Hayden helped open the Arlington Heights Fire Academy, which now trains recruits from all over Illinois.

Born January 17, 1933, John K. Hayden died following a two-year battle with lung cancer in Port St. Lucie, Florida in December, 2000.

See also
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