Welcome to our Spring edition of On The Scene. As your new fire chief of the Plainfield Fire Protection District (PFPD) I welcome my first opportunity to address you in this newsletter.
I’m both humbled and honored to assume the reins from our long-time Chief, John Eichelberger, who retired at the beginning of the year after 40 years of dedicated and loyal service to the residents of and visitors to our District. My wife Patti and I live in the district and have two adult sons with families of their own, including our 4 grandchildren. My late father and brother as well as other extended family members were also career and volunteer members of the fire service. I began my fire service journey as a volunteer with the Harvey, Illinois Fire Department. My career with Harvey ended after rising through the ranks and leaving as Chief to accept the Chief’s position with the Channahon Fire District. I remained Chief of Chan-nahon Fire until joining Plainfield Fire in early 2012.
In my experience, our fire district is comprised of some of the best and most dedicated firefighters, paramedics, technical rescue members, hazmat technicians, water rescue experts, fire prevention inspectors and support staff that you’ll find assembled anywhere. With the rapidly evolving mission of the fire service coupled with the increasing demand on resources, we all are making efforts to continue to do more with less. From the poten-tial of our expanding role in Integrated Mobile Healthcare through the Affordable Care Act to the risks associ-ated with the increased transport of crude oil and other hazardous materials on our local railroads and high-ways, our mission (left of this column) remains; “…efficient emergency response and prevention.” Rest assured that your PFPD members are regularly training on a wide variety of skills which requires incorporating new skills and strategies all of the time.
As part of our long-term strategic planning process we will be breaking ground soon on an outdoor training facility where our members can learn and train on hundreds of different “real-life” scenarios under the sea-soned eye of highly qualified instructors. There is already regional and statewide interest in partnership for additional training opportunities. Your district remains ready and willing to serve our community and I look forward to meeting you in non-emergency settings.
David S. Riddle, Chief