Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) leaders, at their April 16th meeting, thanked Barrington Hills resident Paul Heinze for his nearly quarter-century of service on the District’s Board of Trustees with a short retirement ceremony honoring his tenure.
Department members presented Heinze with a commemorative fire helmet and badge in appreciation for his service. Heinze also became the first recipient of the BCFPD Chief’s Challenge Coin, presented by Fire Chief James Kreher.
“Tonight, we honor Trustee Heinze’s unparalleled record of service,” BCFPD President Keith Hanson said. “He has seen our District grow from a simple funding entity to a functioning emergency services provider that saves lives and protects property every day of the year. Thank you, Paul, for all you have done for the BCFPD and those it serves.”
Passion for Fire Service
The historical record of Heinze’s nearly 25-year tenure will note that he served multiple terms as Board President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer; and helped shape the District’s long-range planning efforts to provide efficient, cost-effective fire and emergency medical services to area residents.
What Department members will remember the most is Heinze’s passion for the fire service and his unyielding commitment to the firefighters who protect the communities BCFPD serves.
“Paul’s business background and his dedication to the people who live and work in our District are nothing short of remarkable,” Chief Kreher said. “His application of that experience, combined with his tireless efforts to foster a culture of pride and professionalism among us, are integral reasons this District has transformed into an organization that serves with honor, skill, and accomplishment. I am extremely proud to have worked with him.”
Advocate for Firefighters
Many others also praised Heinze for his staunch commitment to the BCFPD for so many years. His top priority was providing the tools that allowed them to do their jobs more safely and effectively.
Captain Angela Grandgeorge appreciated Heinze’s keen interest in knowing which firefighter/paramedics responded to emergency calls.
“Trustee Heinze was always very interested in the details of our responses to emergency calls – specifically who was on shift and what actions they took,” she explained. “He always took time to show his appreciation for what we do.”
Heinze’s leadership and steadfastness in testing times proved valuable to many in the Department. Lieutenant Vince Murphy appreciated Heinze’s thoughtful guidance when deciding whether to join the BCFPD as it began independent operations or remain with the Barrington Fire Department – which had previously provided fire and emergency medical services to the BCFPD through an intergovernmental agreement.
“I was concerned about making the right decision for my family,” Lt. Murphy remembered. “Trustee Heinze sat down with my wife and me to talk about the BCFPD’s new direction. He gave us straight answers – no false hopes – and stressed that we needed to do what was best for us. He’s always been an advocate for firefighters, and his willingness to take time to discuss my concerns is a big reason why I’m here now.”
The retirement ceremony concluded with Heinze reflecting on his BCFPD service with a mix of sincerity and levity.
“I appreciate the opportunity we had to build a fire department. That’s something not many people have the chance to do,” he said. “And it’s been an honor to watch our young people grow and develop – some of whom went to grade school with my children.
“It’s been my privilege to serve the community. Thank you for tolerating me,” he concluded, drawing laughter from those in attendance.
About the BCFPD
Established in 1940, the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District serves portions of Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Lake Barrington and Inverness; and portions of unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties. BCFPD services are strengthened through a series of automatic aid agreements and partnerships with 13 surrounding fire departments and fire districts.
The Board of Trustees meets the third Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m., at the District’s Lake Barrington headquarters, 22222 N. Pepper Road. For more information on BCFPD operations, activities and events, call 224-848-4800, visit www.bcfpd.org, or access the Department’s Facebook page.