OFPD graduates 12 residents in Emergency Training program

OFPD graduates 12 residents in Emergency Training program
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OFPD graduates 12 residents in Emergency Training program

The Orland Fire Protection District Tuesday (Feb 26, 2019) honored 12 citizens who completed the district’s nine-week emergency response training class called CERT — Citizen Emergency Response Team.

Battalion Chief William Ledden who supervises the training course said that 52 residents have graduated since th program began.

Fire Chief Michael Schofield, who presented training certificates to the new graduates, said that the training along with the Fire District’s effective emergency response track record are key reasons why the district has been recognized nationally for its higher than average success if saving the lives of cardiac victims.

“If you have a heart attack in the Orland Fire Protection District, you have a far better chance of surviving than if it happens in any other district in the country,” Schofield said. Schofield noted that the national average “save rate” is only 1 in 10, while the OFPD “save rate” is 6 in 10.

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CERT Graduates pose with Orland Fire Protection District officials at the board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

CERT Graduates pose with Orland Fire Protection District officials at the board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

“That achievement is the result of the superb performance of our emergency first responders and firefighters, and because we have several programs that train everyday citizens in the basics of providing life-saving techniques during those first crucial minutes of trauma. When someone has cardiac arrest, there is a good chance now because of these programs like CERT and our CPR classes that a citizen with rescue training will be abler to help that patient during the first few minutes of an attack.”
The Orland Fire Protection District is the recipient of the International Center for Public Safety Excellence (ICPSE) award and Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) certification, the highest honors of “International Accreditation Status.”

Schofield said the Orland Fire Protection District is one of only 260 international agencies to achieve this significant rating of International Accredited status with the CFAI and CPSE. It is one of only 69 departments nationally to achieve ISO Class 1 Status.

OFPD Board President Chris Evoy applauded the graduates and the CERT Training program.

“Every time we can train residents to act during an emergency, it helps to save more lives,” Evoy said. “This program helps save lives and we are proud of every resident who takes the time to participate and learn basic lifesaving techniques.”

Accreditation affirms that the Orland Fire Protection District’s safety and emergency response duties are performed using industry best practices and at the highest possible professional standards. The OFPD received the International Accreditation award on August 28, 2018.

The CERT Training program is offered to residents of the Orland Fire Protection District free of charge. The classes are held one night each week for nine weeks and address emergency response options that can be applied when an individual has a heart attack or other emergency.

Graduates certified Tuesday include: Majorie Broderick, John O’Malley, Susan Stratton, John and Maria Weidenaar, Gerald Carducci, David Peterson, Thomas Testolin, John Grabowski, Jill Shestokas, John Wator and Denise Wisehart.

Leddin thanked the board for providing support for the CERT classes saying that he will soon be announcing the next CERT training classes. The training programs are held twice each year

“CERT team members are trained to assist the fire district in the event of an emergency and learn how to assist their families and neighbors when disaster occurs,” Leddin said.

Training includes learning the ability to safely extinguish fires in the event of an emergency, providing First Aid, CPR, and bleeding control, assisting your family and neighbors in the event of an emergency, organizing and operating search and rescue duties in your community, and, coordinating and working with other first during community emergencies.

“Our CERT Team assists the Fire District by providing emergency shelter and other assistance at any of our facilities throughout the fire district when needed,” Leddin added. “What CERT volunteers learn is invaluable to them and to people who are in need during an emergency. Knowing how to respond and provide support to someone in need can make the difference of life or death.”

The Orland Fire Protection District currently has 52 volunteer CERT members who have graduated through the training program throughout the district including in the Village of Orland Park, Village of Orland Hills, and unincorporated Orland Township.

Citizens living in the Orland Fire Protection District who are interested in participating in the free training sessions should contact Battalion Chief William Leddin at through the Fire District’s website at www.OrlandFire.org.

Classes are held at the Orland Fire Protection District’s administration building at 9790 W. 151st Street in Orland Park.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

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His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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