Veteran Joliet firefighter honored
By BRIAN STANLEY firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2012 4:26PM
First grade Fire Prevention Poster winner Brady McKeon, St. Paul the Apostle Grade School, receives his award from Deputy Chief Ray Randich at the Exchange Club of Joliet luncheon at the Jacob Henry Mansion in Joliet, Illinois, Tuesday, October 9, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Exemplifying his focus on firefighters service in the community, Capt. Bob Wohlrab said his recognition as Joliet Firefighter of the Year was less newsworthy than a reminder about the upcoming annual pancake breakfast.
From 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 21, the Joliet Firefighters Charitable Association will flip flapjacks at St. Paul’s Church, 130 Woodlawn Ave.
All-you-can-eat ticket prices of $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors will sponsor Shop with a Firefighter for needy children at Christmas and other charity programs.
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:21AM
JOLIET — Fire Capt. Bob Wohlrab is a modest man, but he felt he received an appropriate token of recognition from the Exchange Club.
“I’ll hang this up. This is very down-to-earth. I think it represents me very well,” the 2012 Firefighter of the Year said of the sheet of paper.
Exchange Master of Ceremonies and retired firefighter George Bode recently learned the plaque Wohlrab has earned is back-ordered and wasn’t expected in time for Tuesday’s luncheon at the Jacob Henry Mansion.
“We had to hand him something up there, so I printed up an IOU last night,” Bode said.
The lack of a plaque was a first, but so was a unanimous selection from the awards committee.
Wohlrab, who grew up in Joliet, has been on the fire department for 27 years. He has served as a captain at Station 1 for four years.
“(Wohlrab) has come up through the ranks and is a good role model not just for younger firefighters, but officers too,” Chief Joe Formhals said. “Besides being a hard worker at a fire scene, he is the epitome of a public servant.”
Wohlrab helped start Joliet’s Shop With A Firefighter program, where needy children from Guardian Angel Services are brought to spend time with firefighters and buy Christmas presents for their families. He also coordinates several other charitable efforts in the department.
Wohlrab, who was also recognized with a resolution in the state assembly, told an audience that included Will County Executive Larry Walsh and retired Joliet Fire Chief Larry Walsh he was “very appreciative” of the award.
“This job is (being on) a team and I can’t tell you how much it means to have the support of the guys,” Wohlrab said. “I have seen these men exhibit courage in great danger and kindness in tragedy. ... I’m proud to have served in the company of heroes.”