First firefighter paramedics

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By Historical Society

In 2001, Jeanne Guncheon was renovating space for a studio and store on Madison Street. Molly Malones, a new Irish bar and cultural center, was getting ready to open. The Gasse Music Studio on Polk Street had just started offering lessons. And the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce had just moved out of its office space into a rent free space offered by Forest Park National Bank.   

In the same year, a new ordinance by the village required Forest Park firefighters to be certified paramedics. Previously, firefighters were all EMTs who could provide basic first aid but not advanced life support.  
Brian Coffman and Phil Chiappetta, hired in May 2001, were the first paramedics to become firefighters. They were part of a team of paramedics employed by a village-contracted company. Both Coffman and Chiappetta switched hats and successfully completed coursework to become firefighters and pass the test. 

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