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OFPD Chief Michael Schofield holds up the official speech that Rep. Marie Newman will make on Sept. 21 to congress praising the department. Photo by Jeff Vorva

OFPD Chief Michael Schofield holds up the official speech that Rep. Marie Newman will make on Sept. 21 to congress praising the department. Photo by Jeff Vorva

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Newman lauds OFPD and will let Congress know about it Sept. 21

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OFPD Chief Michael Schofield holds up the official speech that Rep. Marie Newman will make on Sept. 21 to congress praising the department. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

By Jeff Vorva

Orland Fire Protection District Chief Michael Schofield opened Monday morning with some bad news.

His son, an NFL veteran also named Michael, was cut by the Baltimore Ravens.

But the chief’s day got much better a few hours later when Congresswoman Marie Newman came to the district’s administration building to gush about how great the department is and to read remarks that she will make to congress on Sept. 21.

Newman raved about the OFPD’s reactions during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as well as implementing regionalized cooperation with neighboring departments.

“I am impressed with the methodology of consolidating the region and making sure the region works together,” Newsman said before the reading. “What also caught my eye is what these folks did during the pandemic. Keeping residents, neighbors and loved ones safe. I deeply appreciate that.

“It’s amazing and exceptional. We’re so pleased.”

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Rep. Marie Newman said she was pleased with the Orland Fire Protection District’s performance during the pandemic. Photo by Jeff Vorva

She read her speech to a group of fire and village officials.

“I rise today to honor the service of the brave first responders of the Orland Fire Protection District,” she read. “This exemplary fire district has shown tremendous dedication to protecting the lives and property of the residents of Orland Park, Orland Hills, and unincorporated areas of Orland Township. Due to their excellence, Orland Fire Protection District is recognized as one of the best fire department organizations in Illinois and the country.

“Chief Michael Schofield’s First Command Team and his first responder units have won national awards for their quick response times, high cardiac save rates, and efficient processes and procedures. Further, Orland Fire is one of 84 internationally recognized agencies with both an ISO Class 1 rating and accredited agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. They displayed their commendable service during the COVID-19 Pandemic when they created a first of its kind response model to address the immediate needs of the community.

“I honor their strong leadership, resourcefulness, and innovation in dealing with the effects of COVID-19 directly and swiftly. Their drive to share knowledge, equipment, and resources will cut inefficiencies and save even more lives. I thank the Orland Fire Protection District for their service, resiliency, and bravery. I honor their dedication, not only today, but every day. They are our heroes.”

Schofield thanked Newman for her support and warned that their job is not over yet. COVID is still around and so are national disasters and on Monday the OFPD sent four members to New Orleans to help with the mess caused by Hurricane Ida

He reiterated the importance of regional departments helping each other.

“Regionalization and sharing is something I truly believe in,” the chief said. “The more we share, the more we consolidate our efforts, the better not only the fire service but with public responders in general.

“We all do the same job. The more we work together to address these issues, the better the citizens are going to be for us doing this.”

 

 

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