A formal ceremony was held at the Orland Fire Protection District to swear-in Michael Schofield as the official Fire Chief and Administrator for the district. Schofield had been appointed interim Fire Chief in August 2015 and was appointed Chief by the board in February, effective March 1, 2016.
Michael Schofield, 55, was sworn in as the Fire Chief and Chief Administrator for the Orland Fire Protection District at formal ceremonies held Tuesday night.
Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin administered the oath of office to Schofield, who as officially appointed Fire Chief at the District’s February board meeting effective March 1, at the district’s headquarters.
Schofield said he was “proud and honored” to take the post. He told the gathering he is dedicated to serving the safety needs of the public and the professionalism of the fire district and its employees.
“There is no place better to raise a family and your kids than in Orland Park,” Schofield said praising the local community where he has spent the past 45 years.
“I work for every firefighter here. Every officer and every battalion chief. I work for them. They don’t work for me. It is my job to ensure they have the necessary training and equipment. The fire department is a family.”
Fire Chiefs from several suburban district also attended including Frankfort Fire Chief James M. Grady, Lisle-Woodridge Fire Chief Thomas Freeman, Plainfield Fire Chief David S. Riddle, and Rural Palatine Fire Chief Hank Clemmens.
OFPD Board President Christopher Evoy praised Schofield’s lifetime commitment to the fire district and public safety profession, and said he would strengthen the district’s ability to respond to the safety and emergency needs of the public.
“The priority of the Orland Fire Protection District is to provide the highest quality and professionalism in emergency services to our district’s residents,” Evoy said, noting Schofield is one of the district’s longest serving employees.
“I believe Fire Chief Schofield is the perfect candidate to ensure that continues and improves.”
Presentations were also made by OFPD Attorney James Roche, and OFPD Chaplain John Vogel. Former OFPD Fire Chief Robert M. Buhs also spoke about the history of the district and Schofield’s contributions rising up from the ranks in the district.
More than 100 people attended the ceremony including the Orland Fire Protection District’s board members District President Christopher Evoy, and trustees Jim Hickey, Jayne Schirmacher and John Brudnak.
Also attending swearing in were State Senator Michael Hastings, Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy, Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello, Orland Park Village Manager Paul Grimes, former Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman and her husband Gerry Gorman, and members of Schofield’s family.
Schofield, the son of former OFPD President Margaret Schofield, thanked the board and guests and vowed to be a “team member” working with the Fire District’s firefighters and emergency services personnel. Schofield was accompanied by his wife Kathy and their 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.
Here is Schofield’s bio and release when he was officially appointed Fire Chief by the board in February.
Schofield officially took over the post of “interim Fire Chief” after Fire Chief Ken Brucki requested a leave-of-absence in August 2015 for “personal reasons” and subsequent retirement in January.
A 45-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.
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.
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.
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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