Park Forest Fire Reports and Officer of the Year

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- While we regularly report on police activity in Park Forest, our First Responders in RED do not find their way into headlines regularly. A late-night transport to the hospital might very well save a life. Our Firefighters/Paramedics have saved many lives over the course of their shifts. We are beginning, then, with Fire Reports.

Please note: we will not be chasing ambulances. At the very least, we will let you know how busy our Firefighters/Paramedics have been over the previous month. Fire Departments are not obligated to divulge information on their calls to the press. Nor should they be. We do believe it is good to recognize the good work of our Park Forest Fire Department.

We will share these articles by highlighting calls the PFFD made over the last year. Why? The Park Forest Fire Department recently held its annual awards ceremony. So we will share individual and group awards each month, beginning with the Firefighter of the Year in this piece.

Also, Fire Chief Tracy Natyshok (pr. “Not’-a-shock”) will send us monthly numbers on PFFD activity. The numbers say so little about all the work that goes into each call response.

If you have a First Responder in Park Forest you would like us to recognize, please email and let us know.

Here are the recent numbers from Chief Natyshok. Count the days in any month and you’ll have an idea of how busy our PFFD is.

The Fire Department ran 373 calls in March. There were 84 Fire Calls and 289 EMS calls.

For the month of February, the Park Forest Fire Department responded to 344 calls in total. 271 were EMS (this includes rescue/car accidents), and 73 were Fire.

Count the days in any month and thank a Firefighter/Paramedic.

The 2022 Park Forest Fire Department Awards Ceremony was held in early February.

Firefighter of the Year: FF/P Joseph Spanier

Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Spanier, 2022 Firefighter of the Year.
Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Spanier, 2022 Firefighter of the Year. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Formal Citation

The Firefighter of the Year award is bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies the characteristics of a firefighter with an outstanding record of fire service achievements. Firefighter characteristics are not restricted to heroic actions but encompass all aspects of productive, dedicated, and professional service at all levels. All firefighters know each of our individual successes are dependent on the success of the team. That’s why having a team-first attitude is so important in the fire service.

Over the past year, Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Spanier has exemplified the team spirit, making the people around him better. He has taken on a large role within fleet maintenance, as well as heading up the new engine committee. Joe consistently puts in extra hours whether maintaining equipment/apparatus, heading up repairs, transporting vehicles to vendors, and overall making sure all apparatus is in working condition to the best of his ability. Joe is always willing to come in on his off days to fix equipment himself, or to get it to a vendor for repairs.

Joe has also taken on an important role heading up the new engine committee. He has put in numerous hours from attending FDIC, speaking/meeting with manufacturers, traveling to outside departments to view apparatus, and speaking with department members to design the best possible engine for the Department and the Village. Often you will see Joe going over potential engine specs with all shifts, gathering input and tweaking designs to come up with the best possible product. Joe has consistently sacrificed his time with the betterment of the department as his main goal.

Because of his hard work, dedication to the department, and team-first attitude, it gives me great pleasure to award Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Spanier the Firefighter of the Year Award.