Chris Apt Awarded Firefighter of the Year

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Chief Wilcox congratulates Christopher Apt, Park Forest Fire Department’s Fireman of the Year. (Photo: VOPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Christopher Apt, a 19 year member of the Park Forest Fire Department, was awarded Firefighter of the Year Monday during the Department’s Award Ceremony at Village Hall.

Four individuals were selected by the award committee for consideration for this year’s Firefighter of the Year Award including Firefighter/Paramedics Joseph Gray, Edward Wright, William Toberman, and Christopher Apt. Fire Chief Robert Wilcox reported that the decision to select one nominee was extremely difficult as each of the candidates made their own unique contribution to the Department in 2007.

Wilcox would eventually select Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Apt for the award for best exemplifying the principles and purposes of the fire service and the Park Forest Fire Department.  Apt is credited for leading by example, consistently demonstrating attention to detail and always insuring daily operations are performed to the standards established by the department. Apt also received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award this year for exemplary performance on an EMS response. Other Fire Department personnel to be recognized on Monday include Firefighter/Paramedics Joseph Gray, Bill Brei, Taylor Bordewyk, Tracy Natyshok, Robert Pillman, Mark Cotrano, Edward Dionne and Lieutenant/Paramedic Mike Wheeler.

The following is the narrative read at Monday’s board meeting:

We are here this evening to confer awards upon members in recognition of outstanding acts of bravery or heroism, outstanding accomplishments and for exceptional performance by a unit or an individual.  The selection of the award recipient is based on defined criteria for which a member may be considered for each Department award and prescribes procedures to be followed when a member is being recommended for a Department award.

The first award presented this evening is the Award of Merit (Recipients march to front of Council Room and stand at-ease while you read why the award is presented.)

This award will be presented for outstanding accomplishments that brought credit to the organization.  This award is given to any department member whose actions exemplify the professional standards of the fire service.  This award as presented to a member of the fire service who has performed an act of unusual character requiring initiative or ability worthy as viewed by a private citizen or a fellow employee.  It will be presented in the form of a medal, ribbon bar and certificate.

Firefighter/Paramedics Joseph Gray and William Brei are being honored for their participation in the creation of a public safety informational display.  The life-sized firefighter display is complete with a computer monitor that plays fire safety videos, as well as holders for pamphlets and flyers.  Fire/Medics Gray and Brei worked countless hours in the evenings and on weekends on this project, often bringing supplies and equipment from home.  The display was finished and delivered to the lobby of the Village Hall on Monday, September 24, 2007.  This creation stands as a reminder to our citizens of our commitment to their safety and provides a means for visitors to gain knowledge about the dangers of fire.  Firefighter/Paramedics Gray and  Brei’s devotion to duty and fire safety is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Fire Service and reflect credit upon themselves, the Fire Department and the Village of Park Forest.

By Order of the Fire Chief the Award of Merit is presented to Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Gray and then we will do the same thing again for Firefighter/ParamedicP Bill Brei.

The next series of awards presented are the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award (Recipients march to front of Council Room and stand at-ease while you read why the award is presented).

This award will be presented to those individuals or units who performed and exhibited exceptional skills in a coordinated action.  Award presented to an individual or unit who has demonstrated exceptional skill, proficiency and dedication to duty while operating under an emergency incident.  It will be presented in the form of a medal, ribbon bar and certificate.

On Thursday, September 4, 2007, Firefighter/Paramedics Edward Dionne and Tracy Natyshok were dispatched to a call for an unresponsive patient who was bleeding heavily.  Upon arrival Fire/Medics Dionne and Natyshok found a 43 year old female with a barely palpable pulse who was not breathing and had significant blood loss.  Fire/Medics Dionne and Natyshok immediately began Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and called for additional assistance at the scene to help manage patient care.  Firefighter/Paramedic’s Taylor Bordewyk, Mark Cotrano and Robert Pillman responded and joined the team providing Advanced Life Support care to the patient.

These Firefighter/Paramedics attempted every advanced life support technique in an attempt to save the patient’s life but sadly, the patient’s condition was so severe they were unable to save her.  Their coordinated pre-hospital efforts gave the patient the best possible chance for survival. Their professionalism is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Fire Service and reflects credit upon themselves, the Fire Department and the Village of Park Forest.

This incident received an Outstanding Call Letter from Ingalls.  This incident received nomination from Cmdr. Paul Winfrey

By Order of the Fire Chief the Meritorious Unit Commendation is presented to Firefighter/Paramedic Taylor Bordewyk and then we will do the same thing again for Firefighter/Paramedics Tracy Natyshok, Robert Pillman, Mark Cotrano and Edward Dionne.

In the early morning hours of October 31, 2007, Engine 54 and Ambulances 61 and 63 were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in the 300 block of North Orchard Drive.  Firefighter/Paramedics Jim Keener and Mark Cotrano were first to arrive at the incident in Ambulance 61 and found a single vehicle accident involving a car that struck a tree.  Ambulance 61’s crew immediately requested assistance with extrication from Engine 54’s crew for the driver who presented with significant lower extremity injuries.  As Engine 54 approached the scene, Lieutenant Wheeler noted a small fire developing in the area of the steering column.   Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Gray from Ambulance 63’s crew retrieved a dry chemical fire extinguisher, broke out the windshield and extinguished the fire as Fire/Medics Keener and Cotrano performed a rapid extrication of the patient.

Through their coordinated actions the crews were able to safely remove the patient from the vehicle while concurrently extinguishing the fire.  Their devotion to duty is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Fire Service and reflects credit upon themselves, the Fire Department and the Village of Park Forest.

This incident also received an Outstanding Call Letter from Ingalls.

By Order of the Fire Chief the Meritorious Unit Commendation is presented to Lieutenant/Paramedic Michael Wheeler and then we will do the same thing again for Firefighter/Paramedics Joseph Gray and Mark Cotrano.

The final award presented this evening is Firefighter of the Year.
This special award and is presented to the Firefighter who best exemplifies by his or her performance the principles and purposes of the fire service and Park Forest Fire Department.  The award is open to all ranks of the Department and by rule the top three nominees selected by the Awards Committee are forwarded to the Fire Chief for final selection.  This year because of the quality of the candidates the Committee forwarded four names to the Fire Chief for consideration as Firefighter of the Year.  It will be presented in the form of a medal, ribbon bar and certificate.

Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Apt has been a career member of the Park Forest Fire Department for 19 years, has been an acting officer on numerous occasions and continually exhibits commitment, professionalism and integrity.  Leading by example, Fire/Medic Apt consistently shows attention to detail with even the most mundane tasks, always insuring daily operations are performed to the standards established by the department.

Fire/Medic Apt received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award this year for exemplary performance on an EMS response and continues to set a high standard for himself and his fellow paramedics for patient care and professional conduct.  Firefighter/Paramedic Apt is an example of what is expected of all fire department personnel providing inspiration, motivation and mentoring to our less senior employees.  His performance and professionalism are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Fire Service and reflect credit upon himself, the Fire Department and the Village of Park Forest.

By Order of the Fire Chief the Firefighter of the Year Award is presented to Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Apt.

 

Source: VOPF