Photo courtesy of city of Peoria

The city of Peoria has released “Flash Point: The History of Peoria Fire-Medical Department,” an original documentary that is now available for public viewing online. This 45-minute film, crafted by the city of Peoria’s Office of Communications, chronicles the extensive history of the Peoria Fire-Medical Department.

Featuring interviews with eight retired firefighters and current Peoria Fire-Medical Department Chief Gary Bernard, the documentary details the department’s transformation from a volunteer squad to a professional, full-scale public safety organization. The film includes a poignant testimony from Jim Kosier, the last volunteer fire chief, detailing the origins and evolution of the department.

“During the Volunteer Fire Pension Board meeting last year, it was revealed that Jim Kosier, the last volunteer fire chief, whose family operated the hardware store in downtown Peoria is the last remaining original firefighter,” says Bernard. “We knew we had to preserve this important story for our city and are grateful to Chief Kosier for sharing his memories in this documentary.”

Significant developments in the department’s history, such as the transition to paid firefighters, advancements in firefighting technology, and the formation of the department’s union, are explored. Additionally, the documentary addresses critical topics like mental health and outlines recruitment initiatives, including the Fire Science Program at Sunrise Mountain High School.

Through “Flash Point,” viewers will gain an in-depth understanding of the Peoria Fire-Medical Department’s history, its growth in tandem with the city, and the advancements that have shaped its current state. The documentary is a tribute to the department’s unwavering service and commitment to the community it protects.

“Flash Point” not only serves to inform and entertain but also plays a crucial role in preserving the Peoria Fire-Medical Department’s legacy through the digitization of historical photos and documents.

The documentary can be accessed on the city of Peoria’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page. It is also scheduled for daily broadcast on Peoria Channel 11. For more information, visit