Thursday, May 22, 2014

Orland Fire Foundation raises more than $13,000 at fundraiser

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Orland Fire Foundation raises more than $13,000 at fundraiser

The rejuvenated Orland Fire Protection District Foundation raised more than $13,000 towards its charitable programs during its fundraiser last week at 94 West Steak & Seafood Restaurant.

The event was held on Wednesday May 15 and attracted more than 100 participants. This year, the Foundation published an Ad Book which helped raise additional monies for its charitable projects.

Those projects include the Kids Fire and Life Safety Camp, The Community Care and Knox Box Program, and scholarships for high school graduates seeking careers in fire service.

“We¹re very pleased at the turnout and the support we have received for the Foundation from residents of the Orland Fire Protection District,” said Patricia Brucki, chairperson of the Foundation Fundraiser and member of the Foundation Board.

“As everyone knows, the money we raise goes to support many important public service projects that help to make our community safer and to raise public awareness for fire safety.”

Brucki, who is married to OFPD Chief Ken Brucki, said that the event raised enough money for the Foundation to launch its scholarship program for next year.

“One of our goals was to raise enough money so we could provide scholarships to encourage high school graduates to seek careers in fire service and I think we have achieved that goal,” Brucki said.

Many elected officials attended the event including Orland Hils Mayor Kyle Hastings, Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman and members of the Fire District Board including Fire District President Jim Hickey, Trustee Jayne Schirmacher and Fire District Personnel Commissioner Craig Schmidt.

“I think the taxpayers and homeowners are very proud of what the Orland Fire Protection District has done over the past few years to hold the line on costs while maintaining the best fire district in the country,” Gorman said.

Schirmacher welcomed the attendees on behalf of Hickey and the Board of Trustees, and thanked the Foundation volunteer board members and committee for their efforts in organizing the event.

Brucki also expressed gratitude to the volunteers including members of the Senior Advisory Committee, and also Fire District volunteers Gerry Strunka, Jerry Ruggio, Joan Pickens, Bob Palermo, Jannette Walsh, and RJ Stachnich.

Brucki said that the event also collected more than 50 bags of food that were to be delivered to the Orland Park Pantry.

More than 70 individuals, officials and organizations contributed to the foundation event. Also attending were the District¹s senior administrators and Battalion Chiefs, and representatives of local businesses who have participated in the district¹s CPR and AED training programs.

The foundation encourages the community to take advantage of free CPR classes and the upcoming Kids fire and life Safety camp this July.

A copy of the Foundation program booklet will be made available online for the public to view.

For more information, visit


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Damage report on storm in Orland Fire District -- roof of fire station ripped off by high winds

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Orland Fire District Storm activity – May 20, 2014

Damage report on storm in Orland Fire District -- roof of fire station ripped off by high winds

A strong spring storm moved through the area of the Orland Fire district in the early evening hours of May 20, 2014.  Typically during severe weather, the Orland Fire District responds to a surge of weather related emergencies in addition to the normal calls for service.  Fire district units responded to reported structure fires, electric wires arcing and burning, energized wires which fell across roadways and damaged chimneys on homes from lightning strikes.  In addition to the incidents related to severe weather, the district responded to several car accidents, a cardiac arrest and assisted Oak Forest with a confirmed apartment fire.

This storm activity was fairly typical related to types of incidents except for one unusual event.  

While firefighters were helping residents with their emergencies, the roof partially blew off one of the fire stations.  Firefighters returned to Fire Station #5, at 8851 W. 143rd Street, between alarms to find it raining inside of the fire house. The flat roof membrane of the fire station was pulled back by strong winds exposing at least 50% of the area below where the fire trucks are parked.  

Fortunately, electronic and digital communication equipment in the building are housed in separate areas which was not damaged by the roof leaking. Also, the living quarters of the firefighters was not damaged.