Fire Lieutenant Sworn In Monday in Park Forest

Ethan Grove, Neil Grove, Park Forest Fire Department, PFFD
Son Ethan Grove pins a badge on his dad, newly sworn-in Fire Lieutenant Neil Grove, at Monday’s Village Board meeting. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Firefighter/Paramedic Neil Grove’s son Ethan had a rare opportunity to honor his Dad at Monday’s meeting of the Village Board.  Dad was sworn in as a Fire Lieutenant, and Ethan pinned Dad’s new badge to his uniform.

Village Manager Tom Mick began the ceremony by reading a prepared curriculum vitae summarizing Lieutenant Grove’s career. 

“Lieutenant Neil Grove began his career with the Park Forest Fire Department in August of 2007,” Mr. Mick said. “This was a second career path for Lieutenant Grove as he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in architecture with a minor in urban planning.”

“While working for employers in Chicago, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, Arizona areas, he attended EMT and paramedic schools at night and on weekends. It was this hard work of going to school while working full-time that engrained in Lieutenant Grove the value of working toward one’s goals,” Mr. Mick said.

“Since 2007, Lieutenant Grove has obtained numerous certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal including various rescue classes, Fire Officer II, Fire Investigator and Fire Prevention.

Neil Grove, Erin Grove, Ethan Grove, Allison Grove, Teagan Grove
Lieutenant Neil Grove’s family, wife Erin, and children Ethan, Allison and Teagan at Monday’s board meeting. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

“Lieutenant Grove and his wife, Erin, have three beautiful kids; Ethan, Allison, and Teagan. As spouses are often the unsung heroes behind the Fire Department, Neil would like to thank his wife for her support and patience raising three kids while he has been away on 24-hour shifts and missing birthdays, holidays and school events.

“Lieutenant Grove looks forward to the next phase of his career and working to continue the Park Forest Fire Department’s tradition of providing great service to the citizens of Park Forest,” Mr. Mick concluded.

Condolences Offered in Loss of George Townsend, Susan Fine

During his report to the board, Village Manager Mick offered words of consolation to the families of George Townsend and Susan Fine. 

“Condolences to the Family and Friends of longtime Park Forester George Townshend” Mr. Mick said. “Townshend and his wife Terry were just recently recognized for a long tenure of community service to Park Forest. Unfortunately, George passed away over this past weekend. Service arrangements are not yet known at this time.”

eNews Park Forest has learned the wake for George Townsend will be Thursday, August 16,  from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Lain Sullivan in Park Forest. The service is Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Lain Sullivan followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery

Mr. Mick also offered condolences to the family of Susan Fine. “Mrs. Fine was a wonderful resident who fought valiantly against cancer over the past decade. Susan was very resilient with the onset of cancer and my sympathies are with her husband, Mark, and their family,” Mr. Mick said.

Other items in Mr. Mick’s report included the following:

Relaxed Summer Board Meeting Calendar

The Village Board is currently in its relaxed summer meeting schedule for the months of July and August. After tonight’s meeting, the Board will have a Regular Meeting next Monday, August 20th beginning at 7 PM.  After that, the next Village Board Meeting will be on Tuesday evening, September 4th.

Saturday Morning Gardening Series

The Saturday Morning Gardening Series continues this coming Saturday morning, August 18th. The topic of the session will be “Making the Most of Your Deep Shady Spot”. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Wetlands Discovery Center, which is co-located with the Park Forest Aqua Center.

Youth Day

The Park Forest Youth Commission will host the 19th Annual Youth Day. It is scheduled for 11 AM to 3 PM this coming Saturday, August 18th out on the Village Green in Downtown Park Forest.

Adopt-a-Trashcan Program

As many residents might be aware, there is a team of young volunteers in Park Forest this summer from AmeriCorps. As part of their work, the group has to coordinate a community service initiative involving the residents. They will be coordinating an Adopt-a-Trashcan program which will place nicely decorated trash cans in strategic/high foot traffic areas of the community. For more details on the program – or to volunteer – the contact email for AmeriCorps is [email protected] Additional details will also be a part of the August Water Billing inserts.

Wine & Chocolate Tasting

A Wine and Chocolate Tasting is scheduled for Friday evening, September 7th from 7 to 11 PM out on the Village Green. For more details visit the Village web site.

Saturday Morning Rules Meeting

The next Saturday Morning Rules Meeting is scheduled for 10 AM on Saturday, September 8th in the Board Conference Room of Village Hall. The meeting is open to the public and residents are invited to attend.

Park Forest Art Fair

The 63rd Annual Park Forest Art Fair will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th. A Main Street Music Fest will also take place as part of the Art Fair on Saturday.

Veterans Day Program

The Park Forest Veterans Commission is coordinating a Veterans Day program. Veterans Day is November 11th and falls on a Sunday this year. To avoid conflicts with people’s church schedules, the Veterans Day program will take place at Noon on Saturday, November 10th at Freedom Hall.

Farmers’ Market

The 45th season of the Park Forest Farmers’ Market is now underway. Now known as the Main Street Market is in a new location this season and is located along Main Street west of Dollar General and across from the Victory Center senior living facilities. The Market takes place every Saturday from 7 AM to Noon regardless of weather conditions.

Good Egg Award Nominations Sought

The Commission on Human Relations is now accepting nominations for the Good Egg Award. The deadline is August 24th and the nomination form is available in the lobby of Village Hall.

Community Surveying

The Village of Park Forest is looking for resident input, which it is using to make informed decisions about Public Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Health and Safety, and other topics. The Village is using on on-line surveying tool call Polco. This service allows for public participation surveys to be sent out to the community. Residents who are interested in giving their feedback to the Village can find more information by visiting the Village website. From there, you can create an account and then submit survey responses. Several survey topics are out there including public transportation, Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, opportunities for volunteering, etc.

Employment Recruitments

The Village of Park Forest is currently recruiting for the full-time positions of Payroll Specialist and Water Plant Operator in addition to the part-time position of Community Service Officer. Details are available by clicking on the Employment link at the bottom of the Village’s web site’s home page. 

Interested residents need to hurry if they’d like to apply. The application deadline for CSO is August 15th while the deadline for Payroll Specialist and Water Plant Operator is August 22nd.

Congratulations to Village Attorney Felicia Frazier

Felicia Frazier, village attorney, park forest
Park Forest Village Attorney Felicia Frazier. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Mr. Mick concluded his report by offering congratulations to Village Attorney Felicia Frazier. “In the latest edition of Crain’s Chicago Business, they did an expose on Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers in the region. Felicia was one of the attorneys recognized,” Mr. Mick said.

Attorney Frazier is a senior partner, and the first female partner, at Odelson & Sterk. According to Crain’s, “She helped grow the firm from five to 19 attorneys. She’s a frequent presenter at school seminars and labor conferences; in December, she spoke about medical marijuana at the Chicago-Kent Public Sector Labor Relations Law Conference and followed that with a workshop for high school teachers and staff on social media and workplace harassment.”