First Responders announce candidacies for Orland Fire District Board seats
Orland Park — Veteran and experienced first responders Matthew G. Rafferty and William Bonnar Jr., officially announced their candidacies for the April 4 election for two seats on the Board of Trustees of the Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD).
The two candidates filed petitions in December and are running to preserve the quality of services provided by the district.
The OFPD is ranked as one of the highest rated and most distinguished Fire Districts in the nation.
Rafferty has been involved with the district for more than 10 years serving on the Fire Commission. Bonnar, Jr., is a former Deputy Fire Chief for the District and now serves as the Fire Chief in neighboring Chicago Ridge.
First Responders Rafferty and Bonnar are both committed to protecting the high level of standards, response times and other achievements the district has accomplished in recent years.
The Orland Fire Protection District has the highest “Save Rate,” 65 percent, for Cardiac Arrest emergency responses, compared to only 15 percent for the nation, an unmatched achievement that has saved countless lives within the district.
Voters should note that Rafferty and Bonnar are the only candidates with the most First Responder experience and training who are not sponsored by local elected politicians.
Both candidates are running to ensure the District remains in the hands of professionals and experienced First Responders like themselves.
“We believe it is very important that voters keep the Orland Fire Protection District in the hands of experienced and knowledgeable leadership and not under the influence of politicians or government patronage workers. We are the only candidates running for the Orland Fire Protection District in the April 4, 2023 election who have real-life experience and expertise to continue the quality of care and service our resident expect and deserve,” said Bonnar, Jr.
“We are in the business of saving lives when minutes can be the difference between life and death.”
Bonnar has served more than 40 years as a firefighter with the OFPD and his father, Firefighter William Bonnar, Sr., was critical in helping to found today’s modern day operations at OFPD.
Rafferty has spent more than a decade on the OFPD Personnel Commission vetting individuals who qualify for firefighter, paramedic and other essential First Responder positions.
“Over the past decade, serving as a member and then Chairman of the OFPD Commission, I have used my experiences to ensure that we only hire the best qualified and trained individuals who will be at your side during any emergency or to save your life,” said Rafferty, who also has served with distinction as a Police Officer for more than 30 years.
As Board Members, Rafferty and Bonnar said their top priority will be to ensure that the Orland Fire Protection District implements policies that enhance the district’s stellar life-saving record and emergency response achievements.
Their message to voters is to focus on the qualifications of the candidates on the ballot. They caution voters not to turn over control of the care for our residents to politicians and government officials who won’t put the needs of residents first.
Instead, they are asking voters to place the care of the lives of every citizen in the district in the hands of professionals who have the experience, the training and the professionalism to save lives.
Voters should note Rafferty and Bonnar are the only candidates with the most First Responder experience who are not sponsored by local elected politicians.
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