southtownstar
DYNAMIC 
Weather Updates

Lockport firefighter honored for starting rookie academy

Lt. Bill Piper has been named Lockport Township Firefighter Year as seen Stati6 Thursday Oct. 25 2012 19623 Renwick Rd.

Lt. Bill Piper has been named Lockport Township Firefighter of the Year as seen in Station 6 Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at 19623 Renwick Rd. in Crest Hill. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 39275037
tmspicid: 14382328
fileheaderid: 6577498
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: December 1, 2012 4:43PM



The rookies have earned some recognition for the veteran. And the chief made sure it was documented.

Lt. Bill Piper has been selected as the 2012 Firefighter of the Year by the Lockport Chamber of Commerce for establishing an in-house Rookie Firefighter Academy.

“New hires are already certified as paramedics and firefighters so our academy begins with more of a skills evaluation,” Piper said. “(Rookies) come from a lot of different programs so this sees what they’ve already practiced enough and where they might be a little green.”

The four-week, 160-hour program also focuses on firefighter safety and survival to protect themselves when battling a blaze.

Fire Chief Dave Skoryi was reluctant when Piper first proposed an in-house program until he was assured all of the state standards could be met before they began.

“This would include prepared outlines — documentation. Qualified instructors — documentation. Proper training grounds — documentation ... and documentation, documentation, documentation,” Skoryi said.

Skoryi praised Piper for continuing to exceed his expectations and working with other local departments to use their training facilities at a savings to the district.

“(Piper) then pulled from the expertise of our own line officers to fill the instructor roles,” Skoryi said.

“(He) even understood (for the program to be successful) that documentation was just as important as teaching the rookies what an ax is.”

Piper grew up in Lockport and has been a firefighter since 1990.

“I like the feeling that I’m helping people. It’s never the same thing every day and it’s a challenge,” Piper said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.