Fire Chief Mike Knoup talks to Oregon Lions


OREGON – Fire Chief Mike Knoup took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Oregon Lions at their General Meeting on Oct. 28.

The Oregon Fire Protection District is comprised of over 120 square miles of incorporated and unincorporated areas of Ogle County and serves a population of approximately 9,600 residents. Currently the Oregon Fire District has 25 paid employees who respond to fire, rescue and emergency services within the district. The average number of calls in one year is around 1200, with three quarters of these being requests for emergency medical services.

In his talk to Oregon Lions, Knoup told how he has provided training for his staff to improve their skills as well as offering extra services to Fire District residents to safeguard their health and safety.

In his efforts to improve the health and wellness of his employees, he initiated an incentive for physical fitness and which is monitored at the Fire Station. Fighting fires and providing emergency services can be physically demanding, and he considers it important that his staff remain in good physical condition.

In an effort to retain staff, a new, more competitive pay scale and employee benefits is now in place.

Three quarters of the calls made to the Fire Protection Districts are requests for emergency medical services. Knoup has made it a priority to provide training to help maintain and improve the EMT skills.

Recently EMT’s have been trained to provide RSI – a life-saving technique whereby a tube can be inserted into the patients’ airway to provide the oxygen needed to save their life.

The Oregon Fire Protection District is divided in two by the Rock River and those of us who live in this area have an awareness of the importance of having Fire Protection employees who are trained in water rescue. Recently members of Oregon’s Fire Department completed a swift water/flood boat operations course that was filled with practical knowledge. It makes our water rescue teams better able to serve our community and save lives.

In his talk to Oregon Lions, Knoup failed to mention that he himself, after over 480 hours of training, received a certification as a Chief Fire Officer from the State of Illinois. Also, this summer, two members of his staff, Anthony Marchetti and Shane Mowry, graduated from Mercy Health’s Paramedic Program. Congratulations to all.

Knoup explained how he has taken steps to safeguard the health and wellness of the community by raising an awareness of the steps they can take to protect themselves from fires.

The importance of good, reliable and up to date smoke detectors was a subject of discussion at the meeting. A free check of existing smoke detectors is available as well as the installation of a new free smoke detector by Fire Department employees.

The Fire Department continues to connect with the community in many ways Information talks to service groups such as the Oregon Lions, visits to classrooms to educate children about fire prevention, providing space for Covid Vaccine Clinics, and offering community CPR training. Oregon Lions are especially grateful for all the cooperation Knoup has given in allowing Oregon Lions the use of their electronic outdoor letter board to advertise Oregon Lions Sandwich Sales.

Oregon Lions want to thank Fire Chief Mike Knoup for his dedication and service to the community. His determined efforts have made the District a safer place for those of us who live and work here.

Photo – From left to right Oregon Lion Dr. Carri Anderson, Oregon Fire Chief Mike Knoup and Oregon Lion JoeKryszak