2017 EVT of the Year John Cope

August 14, 2012
Illinois Fire Apparatus Mechanics Association P.O. Box 505
Lemont, Illinois 60439

Dear Selection Committee:
I am writing this letter to nominate John Cope of the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District for EVT of the year. John came to us as a volunteer firefighter in July of 1976 and by May of 1981 John was working for the Fire Department as a full time firefighter/paramedic.

In December of 1991 John decided to change his career path and took on the responsibilities of Fleet Manager. Since that day in December John has never looked back. In fact, if you were to ask John back then what his role and responsibilities were, he simply would have told you it was that of fleet mechanic. That may have been true since back in 1991 the department operated out of one small fire station built in the 1940's and maintained a limited fleet of apparatus.

Today however, the Fire Department's fleet now consists of 3 Engines, 3 ambulances, 2 squads, 1 truck and 6 support vehicles, which John is solely responsible to maintain. Additionally, without being asked, John has also taken on the role of facility management of the two state of the art fire stations that the department currently operates out of. By doing this, John has expanded his responsibilities for all items in and around the fire stations, which includes maintaining everything from the drinking fountains to the HVAC chillers, to supervising the annual ladder truck testing.

There is no trade that John is not skilled at; if it is mechanical John can fix it. I remember when one of our 1/2 ton blower units went belly up at the headquarters fire station. The blower was crammed into the corner of the mechanical room with little accessibility and it looked as if it would be impossible to work on, let alone remove. John would not be defeated. He got out the technical rescue equipment from the squad, including a tripod and hauling ropes. John began to use his knowledge gained as a firefighter and used the equipment to create mechanical advantages in order to remove the defective blower unit. This activity quickly gained notice of shift personnel and before you knew it, the entire shift was involved and working under John's supervision. By the end of the day the old blower unit was out and a new one was in. This is just one example of many incidents that involve John's dedication to the department's core values and is the reason why I have developed an enduring respect for both John's work ethic and his problem solving abilities.

Given the fact that John was once a firefighter/ paramedic means that he is able to combine his vast knowledge of how things work with the specific needs and mission of the Fire Department. It is such a rare occurrence that we have to send a vehicle out for repair or have an outside agency in to service or fix something on the building, that it is almost easy to forget what all John does. I truly don't know what we are going to do when John retires. On top of all this John is a just a fine human being. John is the father of two beautiful adult children and the grandfather of three. He is a good friend and can be depended upon to be there when needed.

John has my highest endorsement as EVT of the year. If you have any question about this recommendation or my endorsement of John please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully Submitted,
Deputy Chief James A. Philip