Schofield named full-time Orland Fire Protection District Chief
The Orland Fire Protection District Tuesday named Michael Schofield, 54, as the district’s new fulltime fire chief approving a three year contract effective March 1, directing attorney Jim Roche to negotiate and recommend Schofield’s salary.
One of the district’s top three longest serving firefighters, Schofield became “interim Fire Chief” after Fire Chief Ken Brucki requested a leave-of-absence in August for “personal reasons” and subsequent request for retirement in January.
A 44 year resident of Orland Park, Schofield served as a Battalion Chief and managed the Orland Fire Protection District’s Operational Services before being named interim chief. Services included Suppression, Emergency Medical Services, Specialty Teams, as well as Training with each area managed by a lieutenant who reported to Schofield.
Schofield joined the OFPD in 1977 as a cadet, eight years after the district was created. In 1979, Schofield became “paid on call,” which essentially was considered a part-time position.
“Serving the residents of the Orland Fire Protection District has been my life and I am humbled and honored to be able to continue that service now as the District Fire Chief,” Schofield said.
“I want to continue the direction the Fire District has been going in. There are a lot of people in the Fire District, and a lot of great volunteers. Providing and maintaining the highest level of professional emergency and safety services is my goal.”
Schofield said he doesn’t anticipate making major changes during his first year, but said he hopes to see the district maintain and enhance training for paramedics and emergency responders.
“There are no pressing issues right now, but I will take a close look at everything,” Schofield said.
Schofield was hired fulltime by the OFPD in 1986. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1989 and became a Battalion Chief in 2012.
Fire District Board Chairman Chris Evoy praised Schofield saying the board was moved by both his three-decade career in fire service and that he is a longtime resident in the district.
“We’re confident Fire Chief Schofield will do an exemplary job leading the district and supervising emergency fire response to uphold the safety of the district’s residents,” Evoy said. “He knows this district and what needs to be done.”
Coincidentally, Schofield will celebrate his 30th year with the OFPD on his March 1 start date as full-time fire chief.
During his part-time tenure with the OFPD, Schofield worked from 1983 until 1986 as a paramedic with the City of Chicago Fire Department.
In 1985, Schofield received the paramedic award of valor from Chicago for the rescue of an employee involved in an industrial accident at the Nabisco plant in Chicago.
Schofield also worked in Homer Township as a part-time firefighter from 1995 to 2002, and then in the part-time position as Homer Township Fire Chief from 2002 to 2012.
Schofield is the co-founder of the Will County Fire Chiefs Association, and Past President of Mabas 19 mutual aid group.
Schofield is married to Kathy and they have six kids, Nicole, Stephanie, Michael III, Andrew, Kathleen and Jacqueline. Michael Schofield III is an offensive lineman with the Denver Broncos and played in the 2016 50th Super Bowl that the Broncos won.
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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