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St. Louis Downtown Airport fire chief earns Chief Fire Officer redesignation honors


CAHOKIA – Bi-State Development has announced that Michael Mavrogeorge, fire chief at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, has earned the prestigious redesignation as Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Commission on Professional Credentialing. St. Louis Downtown Airport is owned and operated by Bi-State Development.

mavrogeorge michaelMavrogeorge has served as the fire chief at St. Louis Downtown Airport since 2008 when he was hired to establish a fire department at the airport. The airport, which is located in close proximity to downtown St. Louis is the third-busiest general aviation airport in the State of Illinois behind O’Hare and Midway Airports, and the second-busiest airport in the St. Louis region.

Mavrogeorge (left) first received the initial designation as Chief Fire Officer in 2013. At that time, he was recognized for his experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competencies.

To receive redesignation, the center recognized Mavrogeorge for demonstrating a high level of competence as witnessed by his peers, for documenting continued professional, educational, technical and community service achievements, and for fulfilling prescribed standards of performance, ethics and conduct.

The redesignation is a symbol of excellence and professionalism in the firefighting field. The requirements are set at a very high level and that is why there are only 1,146 fire personnel officers around the world who have received this honor. To put that into perspective, there are 1,200 fire departments alone in the State of Illinois.

“To be placed in that outstanding group says a lot about what Chief Mavrogeorge brings to St. Louis Downtown Airport every day and speaks volumes about his dedication and service to the community,” Erick Dahl said. Dahl is the Executive Director at the airport.

“We congratulate Chief Mavrogeorge for this prestigious achievement and are very fortunate to have someone with his experience, skill set and knowledge at the helm of the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department,” said John Nations, president and CEO of Bi-State Development.

Mavrogeorge is the chairman of the Illinois Fire Services Association and serves on various state and national committees including the International Association of Fire Chiefs Emergency Management Committee, the Executive Board of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Legislative Committee Chairman and Alternate Member of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, the Office of the State Fire Marshal Airport Firefighter State Certification Advisory Committee, the Illinois Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Incident Support Team Committee Co-Chair, and the State of Missouri Type III Region C Incident Management Team. Mavrogeorge has been an instructor at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute since 2005. He is active in his community including serving as a member of the Board of Trustees in New Baden, where he is chairman of the Public Safety Committee.

He is credited with creating the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department from scratch. Prior to Mavrogeorge joining the airport as fire chief in 2008, St. Louis Downtown Airport relied on nearby communities for fire and rescue assistance while being ranked as one of the busiest general aviation airports in the nation.

He quickly established the airport’s first fire department in a hangar on the airport property. The structure had no heat and no plumbing. The fire house communications equipment was housed in a tiny 50-year old travel trailer which was parked in the hangar.

In January 2011, Bi-State Development, Nations, Mavrogeorge and others celebrated a major airport milestone with the dedication and opening of the $5 million Airport Fire Station and Emergency Management Facility. With 8,500 takeoffs and landings at St. Louis Downtown Airport every year, the airport fire department is qualified, positioned and prepared to respond to aircraft rescue and firefighting situations that involve aircraft ranging from Boeing 737 charter flights to personal ultralight planes.

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