Fire Department To Celebrate Fire Prevention Week In October

Memorial arch silent parade fire prevention week
The beginning of the Silent Memorial Parade in October, 2015. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Annual Memorial Service And Twilight Parade, Open House, Highlight Week

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Fire Department is readying for this year’s celebration of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 9 through October 15.

The PFFD will host the 36th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Parade on Thursday, October 13. This parade of silent, lights-only fire equipment and ambulances is dedicated to those who have lost their lives protecting ours, or those who have become seriously injured in their service.

Park Forest does more than simply “observe” Fire Prevention Week.

If you have not experienced the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Parade yet, please try to make time this year. Yes, as an annual event, it only comes around once a year, of course. But the solemnity, the presence of fire equipment and ambulances from Park Forest and many other surrounding towns is really a sight to behold.

It has become common for those in attendance to line the parade route holding candles as a silent testimony for those who gave their all.

Fire Captain Mike Wheeler rings bell remembering fallen firefighters
Fire Captain Mike Wheeler rings the memorial bell at a past service. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

A short memorial service will be held at St. Irenaeus Church (located at the corner of Indianwood Blvd. & Orchard Drive) beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The parade should step off at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Quite honestly, the ringing of the memorial bell, “last call” for the fallen, and the playing of Amazing Grace by those playing bagpipes will stir your soul.

If you’re in the vicinity of St. Irenaeus the night of the parade, be sure to watch the stately salute put together by two fire trucks which form an arch with extended ladders as other emergency vehicles depart for the parade.

Parade Route

The parade route will be as follows:

Leave the Village Hall parking lot and turn left to travel east on Indianwood Boulevard and proceed to Forest Boulevard.  Turn left onto Forest Boulevard and continue north on Forest.  The parade will then veer onto Park Street (passing Garden House), turn left onto Westwood Drive and then proceed to N. Orchard Drive.  Turn right onto N. Orchard Drive and follow to Indiana Street.  Turn right onto Indiana Street and then left on Illinois Street.  Follow Illinois Street back around to Indiana Street and turn right onto N. Orchard Drive.  Continue south on N. Orchard Drive to Westwood Drive and follow to Sauk Trail where the parade will veer to the left and then right on to Shabbona Drive.  The parade will then follow Shabbona Drive to S. Orchard Drive, where it will turn left and proceed on S. Orchard Drive to Indianwood Boulevard.  Turn right onto Indianwood Boulevard and complete at the Village Hall parking lot where the parade began.

After the parade, there will be a brief reception inside the Park Forest Fire Department. Members of the public are welcome to stop by, chat with firefighters and paramedics. Be sure to thank them for their service.

Fire Prevention Week Culminates With Open House At The Fire Station

On Saturday, October 15, the Fire Department will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Activities for the day include a live fire/sprinkler demonstration at 11:00 am as well as station tours, fire safety presentations with the PFFD’s Fire Hazard House, and car seat checks, to name a few.

Representatives from the Park Forest Police Department, Nurses Plus, Park Forest Library, SouthCom Dispatch, NiCor, ComEd, CN Railroad, Habitat for Humanity and ServPro will also be in attendance handing out helpful safety information.

Please gather up your family and come out to join us for a fun-filled day at the fire station.

You’ll be glad you did.

Information for this story was provided by the Park Forest Fire Department.