Lt. Bill Henry (left front) | Photo by Joe Kreml

I am writing to say goodbye and thank you to Oak Park. After 31 years of service to the village, I’m retiring from the Fire Department.

We’ve had our share of fires, but it’s the unusual calls for service that I’ve enjoyed most. From the squirrel in the fireplace to the cat in the duct work, from the girl stuck in her seat at the Lake Theatre to the countless calls involving strange sounds and odors, these calls and others like them kept things interesting for more than three decades.

I’ve had my heart broken on some ambulance calls. I’ve also been lucky enough to assist with four births in the field, including one in an elevator that stopped on every floor.

I will miss the camaraderie and compassion of the department. I will miss all our friends from Ascension, our family’s parish and school for many years.

My back hurts, my knees creak, and some incidents continue to keep me up at night. Still, I cannot think of a better career or a better community to serve.

Thanks for all the stories. Take care of each other.

In gratitude,

Lieutenant Bill Henry, Oak Park Fire Department

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