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Friday, December 9, 2022
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Park Forest Swears In Two Firefighters

elizabeth bess vlahakis sheilia mcgann firefighters
Elizabeth “Bess” Vlahakis is sworn in by Village Clerk Sheila McGann as Fire Chief Bruce Ziegle stands at attention. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Village Clerk Sheila McGann had the honors Monday night swearing in two new members of the Park Forest Fire Department. Michael Wolski, currently of Shorewood, Illinois, and Elizabeth “Bess” Vlahakis, currently of Frankfort, Illinois, were sworn in as firefighters and paramedics. Bess Vlahakis, a native of Park Forest, graduated from Rich East High School in 2003.

The biographies of each new firefighter/paramedic follow, as read by Village Manager Tom Mick.

Elizabeth “Bess” Vlahakis

Elizabeth “Bess” Vlahakis is a native of Park Forest, her family having moved here from Beverly at the age of 6. She is a graduate of Rich East High School, class of 2003. Be

ss and her husband George have been married for 9 years making their residence in Frankfort, Illinois, They have one son, Harold, age 4.

Bess Vlahakis has been in the fire service for over 11 years, starting her career in EMS at the age of 18 as an EMT-B, having been inspired by a long line of family members who have served on the Chicago Fire Department beginning with her great-grandfather. Since then she has received numerous certifications including Paramedic and Advanced Firefighter.  Bess has had the privilege of serving on the following departments: Steger Fire Department, Romeoville Fire Department, South Chicago Height Fire Department, Crete and just under six years with the Richton Park Fire Department before coming to serve in Park Forest.

Bess is honored to have the wonderful opportunity to serve her hometown and plans to have a long and successful career with the Park Forest Fire Department.

Bess’s husband, George, a history teacher at Rich East High School, pinned on Bess’s badge.

Michael Wolski and Sheila McGann firefighters
Michael Wolski is sworn in by Village Clerk Sheila McGann. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Michael Wolski

Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Wolski grew up in Oak Lawn Illinois, and moved to Shorewood, Illinois in 2008.

He started his career path in the fire service by obtaining his Associates Degree at Joliet Junior College in Fire Science Technology and his paramedic training through Morris Hospital. Mike went through the fire academy and began working at the New Lenox Fire Protection District, where he worked for three years before coming to Park Forest.

Mike Wolski comes to us with certifications in Basic Operation Firefighter, Technical Rescue Awareness, Field Service Vehicle Operation, Hazardous Material Operations, and Advanced Firefighter. Mike has been a Paramedic for 4-years, and also has a certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Wolski is honored to have this opportunity to serve the Village of Park Forest, and looks forward to a long, interesting and healthy career here in Park Forest.

Mike’s girlfriend Michelle pinned on Mike’s badge.

Harold and George Vlahakis
Harold Vlahakis, 4, waits with dad George, for his mom to be sworn in. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)



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