Volunteer Spotlight: Gerald Brooks

Name: Gerald Brooks
Title: Chief
Department Name: Allendale Rural Fire Protection District
Location: Allendale, IL

Why are you an NVFC member?
To learn best practices for running a volunteer department.

What is your occupation?
County EMA Director

Why are you a volunteer firefighter, EMT, or rescue provider?
My father was an Army COE Officer. On one assignment as base engineer he had the collateral duty of overseeing base fire stations. He had a military green sedan equipped with red light, siren, radio. He used to take me and my sisters with him to visit each station on a holiday like Christmas, Easter, etc. I caught the bug! I enlisted in the USCG in 1975, as the first step in emergency response career(s) (11 years active duty, 10 years reserves). I was a law enforcement instructor for 20 years (second career). I have been a volunteer firefighter since 1989, and chief of two different volunteer departments in that time. Probably will be a volunteer for as long as God lets me.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
I have had CPR training every year since 1975, but I have only used it once. A 74-year-old neighbor had a heart attack. I performed CPR until the EMS crew arrived. Unfortunately, he passed away.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
My current department was totally destroyed by a tornado in 1989, but it has rebuilt stronger and better than ever. We provide fire, rescue, and emergency medical response to 6o square miles of rural area.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.