Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OFPD Creates new Senior Advisory Council

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Ray Hanania
Tuesday Feb. 26, 2013                                                                    rayhanania@comcast.net

OFPD Creates new Senior Advisory Council

OFPD –Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki will propose the creation of a new Senior Advisory Council that will attract broader representative and avoid political partisanship.

Brucki said a senior council that focuses on two goals of educating seniors and the public and District services, as well as providing a structure for senior involvement will fill a void created when the former council was disbanded.

The prior council became mired in politics and many of its members resigned.

“Seniors are an important part of our community and important recipients of services and it is important that they have an organization that can provide them with information and support,” Brucki said.

“One of our most important functions as a Fire District is not only to respond to fire emergencies, but to also respond to emergency health needs. Our seniors, who are most important in our community, face many of these health problems and we want to ensure we are doing everything we can to address their needs.”

OFPD Board President Jim Hickey said the district has been without an effective senior advisory council for far too long.

“Unfortunately, we know that politics can get in the way of many things but I believe our new Fire Chief, Ken Brucki, and this new structure will result in a council that focuses on serving the needs of our senior community,” Hickey said.

“I want to thank Brucki and also Rosemaria Genova who is our communications liaison with the new senior group for their hard work in structuring this new council.”

Brucki said that the new council will seek volunteers to fill 12 seats on the council’s board. The council will look for two seniors from each of the district’s six fire station areas.

Brucki said he will present the council proposal and new by-laws to the OFPD Board at its regular board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The proposal was developed by Senior Advisory Council coordinators including Fire Prevention Supervisor Mike Ercoli, consultant Rosemaria Genova, Acting SAC Secretary Diana Husband, OFPD Trustee Marty McGill and SAC members Joe Gleiter, and Mane Pritza. The group have proposed a reorganization and created new By-Laws, Policies and Procedures with other supporting documents.

The coordinating committee identified several areas that the Senior Advisory Council can address, including:
  • ·         Studying of issues
  • ·         Performing independent research
  • ·         Participate in district activities
  • ·         Educate seniors about health and safety issues recommended by staff and district Analyzing the impact of policies on the senior population within the district, and
  • ·         Make recommendations to the Board of Trustees based on thoughtful and unbiased discussions from a senior perspective.
  • ·         Informing seniors about our residential Knox Box (key box) Program
  • ·         Educating seniors about the Community Care Program
  • ·         Helping the bureau obtain the names and phone numbers of condo association board members in some of the senior complexes
  • ·         Participating in our annual Open House scheduled this year for October 5, 2013, and
  • ·         Assisting OFPD staff at public events such as the Taste of Orland.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Quick thinking by Battalion Chief and 17-year old life guard saves 32 year old heart attack victim

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Quick thinking by Battalion Chief and 17-year old life guard
saves 32 year old heart attack victim

OFPD/Feb. 10, 2013 – Officials of the Orland Fire Protection District are praising the fast thinking, quick response of a Battalion Chief and a 17 year old life guard who saved the life of a young man who had a heart attack while playing basketball Sunday night at the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St.

Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki said that Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi was watching his son play basketball at the Sportsplex Sunday night at around 4:30 pm when people from a nearby court ran up to him asking for his help regarding a friend who “just collapsed.”

Brucki said Cinquepalmi saw that a young man collapsed on the court floor with what appeared to be severe Cardiac Arrhythmia, also referred to as Ventricular Fibrillation. He was immediately assisted by a Sportsplex Life Guard, 17 year old Jake Pechukas who brought an AED (Automatic Electronic Defibrillation) and the two began CPR.

“Battalion Chief Cinquepalmi reacted without hesitation and so did the young life guard and immediately responded to the emergency with CPR and an AED,” Brucki said.

“The ambulance had been called and was only minutes away. But Cinquepalmi applied the AED electrical pads to the victim’s chest and shocked him back into regaining consciousness and breathing.”

Brucki said the incident demonstrates the importance of having an AED nearby in the event of a cardiac incident, and said the Orland Fire Protection District is in the process of establishing a training program with local businesses and restaurants to make AEDs and trained employees available to respond to similar circumstances.

“Every minute that a patient is not breathing negatively impacts the chances of recovery,” said Brucki.

Brucki praised the Village of Orland Park and the Park District for ensuring that this important piece of lifesaving equipment, the AED, and having the staff trained in its use were available.

“The ambulance arrived and was able to continue professional emergency support and the patient is now recovering. Incidents involving cardiac issues can be unpredictable and the faster you can provide assistance the better the chances of survival,” Brucki said.

Pechukas said he was excited but proud that he was able to help the victim.

Cinquepalmi praised Pechukas for his quick action.

“The victim was in real trouble. I had an AED in my car but the lifeguard, Jake, told me they had an AED. I shocked him one time and the suspect’s body jumped and started to do 30 or 40 compressions and he just woke up,” said Cinquepalmi, who has been a fireman since 1983 including the last 24 years with the Orland Fire Protection District.

“The fact that we had an AED there saved this man’s life. He was 32 years old with no medical history and goes into sudden cardiac arrest. Now he is fine.”

The victim, who is from Orland Hills, lost a few teeth when he collapsed face down on the court. Cinquepalmi said the victim’s friends were so excited that they were able to save his life.