2009 EVT of the YearEVT Of The Year Award


To Whom It May Concern:


I am writing this letter to nominate Mike Ludemann with the Plainfield Fire Protection District for EVT of the year. Aside from being a terrific vehicle technician, Mike is probably one of the most liked people on our department.


Mike began his working career at a K-Mart Auto Center where he was employed for around 9-years. From K-Mart, Mike moved on to similar employment with a Goodyear Tire Store, where he remained for another 9-years. As one can imagine, Mike was introduced to every brand of vehicle on the market as well as every possible repair needed that could be presented to him. After working in the retail automotive market for close to 18-years, Mike moved on to a municipal vehicle maintenance position with the Village of Downers Grove. It was here that Mike was introduced to emergency vehicle maintenance and repairs on all types of municipal equipment. During Mike’s 11-years at Downers Grove, he became one of their top rated technicians on every type of vehicle that Downers Grove had in their fleet.


To say that we were “quite fortunate” to get a person of Mike’s caliber to become our vehicle maintenance technician is putting it mildly! When Mike first came to Plainfield FPD, we were in need of someone to revamp our vehicle maintenance program. We were initially sharing Mike with Lockport FD, as he would work one week with us and the next week for them. After a year or so of doing maintenance for both departments, Mike decided to go on full time with us. This was a major disappointment for Lockport FD but a real “shot in the arm” for Plainfield FPD.

Since the time that Mike came on board, our fleet has never been in such magnificent shape.


I have been here prior to Mike’s arrival and can tell you that we are much better for having him. Not only is Mike’s knowledge of everything automotive second to none, but his attitude toward every job he does is the same, get it done right the first time. I can tell you that he has never strayed from that simple philosophy. I have never seen a job beat him. I am often asked if I know a good mechanic and I say yes, I know the best mechanic and he works at Plainfield FPD!


Mike is also a very personable person. I cannot count the number of times that I have called him on his day off or at night because I had a problem with a rig. He never has said I will get it tomorrow; he always just comes out, no questions asked. His goal is to keep every rig running in perfect shape because he knows that our lives and the lives of those we help depend on our vehicles and equipment working perfect every time.


I think if you would have asked Mike what the job of EVT entailed prior to his becoming one, he might have just said, “maintaining emergency vehicles”. What he didn’t know was everything else he would be called on to do for PFPD. In addition to vehicle maintenance, Mike also gets called on for building maintenance, electrical and carpentry concerns, and fabrication or invention of just about anything needed.

There just isn’t a trade that Mike isn’t an expert at or knows something about. I witnessed him construct a barbeque out of an old fuel storage tank and turn it into a wonderful pig roaster.


On top of all that, Mike is a great friend. I have called him countless times to ask questions about personal vehicles and for some reason, he always answers my calls. He has come over to my house and many others to work on our vehicles because we asked and nothing more. I have called him with obscure automotive questions and without hesitation; he always has an exact understandable answer for me.


In closing, I would just like to say that the things that I have put in this letter are but a small part of what Mike actually does for PFPD. His knowledge of fire apparatus and the skills he has to work on them rivals the talents of most factory engineers and mechanics. We are truly safer in our vehicles and better prepared as a department because of one Mike Ludemann.




Jack Jirgle


Plainfield FPD