In an updated letter to Forest Park residents on March 19, Mayor Rory Hoskins spoke about the evolving COVID-19 crisis. He addressed the village’s ability to handle an emergency situation and put out a call for volunteers.
“Forest Park is not subject to a shelter in place order,” stated Hoskins. “However, we do strongly suggest that you act as though you think that you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, as our over-arching goal is to minimize its spread.”
Hoskins assured residents that the department heads are regularly communicating, and that Forest Park fire and police departments have plans to respond to the expected surge in medical calls due to the pandemic. The fire and police chiefs are in contact and have strong working relationships with other local departments and mutual aid agreements exist between them.
“I want you to know that the Village of Forest Park is planning for any contingencies,” said Hoskins in the letter.
Hoskins also spoke about the experience of village staff, stating “the heads of our public safety units all have at least 28 years of experience in their roles and working in this community.” He added that Forest Park’s police and fire departments include National Guard reservists, and some are military veterans with experience working in rapidly constructed military field hospitals.
“I believe that we can rest assured knowing that key members of our staff have experience with our National Guard in disaster settings,” said Hoskins in his letter.
Hoskins also noted the following:
- All non-critical village meetings and events have been canceled until further notice.
- The March 23 regular council meeting will still be held, but residents are encouraged to watch via the village website at forestpark.net. “Please as a precaution, do not attend,” said Hoskins.
- The 2020 Census will proceed as planned. Forms are being mailed to residents or can be completed online per the mailed instructions.
- Forest Park will continue to receive guidance from the Cook County Department of Public Heath (CCDPH) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
- The April 1 deadline for the purchase of vehicle stickers has been extended until further notice.
- Residents are asked not to come to village hall unless absolutely necessary.
- Residents who wish to volunteer to help those in need can contact the village at 708-615-6203.
Hoskins provided the following phone numbers and websites:
Village Hall: 708-366-2323, forestpark.net
Forest Park School District: 708-366-5700, fpsd91.org
Park District of Forest Park: 708-366-7500, pdofp.org
Forest Park Public Library: 708-366-7171, fppl.org
Cook County Department of Public Health: 708-633-4000, cookcountypublichealth.org
Illinois Department of Public Health: 312-814-2793, dph.illinois.gov