Words can’t express how honored I am to lead ILFFPS. It’s my hope and my prayer that we can continue to grow in awareness as well as to make it safe and to talk about the issues that we face together and be there for one another in times of struggle and need.
The start of my career dates back to 1988, I was accepted as a volunteer with the Willow Springs FD. It was there that I knew that the fire service was what I was called to do. Soon after, I was working part-time for another town and was testing everywhere I could, eventually landing a job with the Village of Bridgeview. In my 6th year, I did a lateral transfer to the City of Evanston and look to retire in 2023, with 30 years of service.
I have a diverse fire service background, starting as a volunteer and now with a large urban city. I currently serve as a Fire Apparatus Operator (Engineer) as well as a paramedic with the City of Evanston. I have tested for promotion in the past, but testing is not my thing, so after a couple rounds of serving as an Acting Captain, I decided to step out of that and just enjoy what I do.
It almost goes without saying that with 25 years there has been some memorable moments, both good and bad.
Outside of the fire service, I enjoy spending time with my family, riding my motorcycle and camping. I have two great kids, both out of college and starting in their own careers. In addition to my career in the fire service, I obtained my Masters of Divinity in 2016. Over the past few years I often fill in at smaller churches that are in need of someone to preach. While my faith is central to who I am as a person, my main purpose in being involved with IFFPS is to be a trusted presence for someone in need.
My Name is Randy Grohler, I started my career in emergency services in 1988. I started in the fire service as a Junior Fire cadet in my high school days. I have served with several departments through my years from Greenville Fire Department, Williamson County Fire Protection District, West Frankfort Fire Department, Johnson City Fire Department, and Zeigler Fire Department. At this time I serve with Lake Egypt Fire Protection District as Safety Officer and Paramedic. I’m also a state certified Instructor in Fire and EMS. A father of 4 my time is full with a lot of adventure. Been married and divorced. I’m remarried now and loving life.
My name is Ryan Hanson. I have been in the fire service since 2000, and a fulltime Firefighter/Engineer and now Lieutenant at Pontiac since 2008. I spent my first 8 years as a volunteer and paid on call at a couple different departments in the Midwest. I wanted to be part of peer support for a couple different reasons. Like most, I have had some struggles in my personal life, and it was the fire service that was there for me and helped me get through those times. Also, coming through the volunteer ranks, I realize the commitment that comes with it, along with the types of calls that not only fulltime but also the volunteer firefighters go on. So, a way I can give back to my fellow firefighters is to be there for them as the fire service was there for me. As we go through our careers in the fire service, whether volunteer, paid on call, or full time we are going to have stressors. I am proud to be part of ILFFPS, and we are here to support and listen to our brothers and sisters in need.