Illinois Fire Chief Collapses in Office

SHOREWOOD, Ill. -- Kerry Sheridan devoted more than half his life to the Troy Township fire department. On Tuesday, he died in his Troy Township Fire Protection District office.

Sheridan, 75, was found unresponsive in his office Tuesday afternoon. He was transported to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 3:30 p.m. Coroner Patrick K. O'Neil said Sheridan's death was attributed to natural causes.

That Sheridan would die while working at the fire department did not come as a shock to his long-time friend, Mayor Rick Chapman.

"He was either at that job or with the county," said Chapman, who served under Sheridan as a fire lieutenant. "He was just a servant of the people."

Sheridan was the fire chief for nearly 50 years and showed early on that he was a progressive leader.

It was Sheridan who initiated one of the state's first fire cadet programs; was a strong proponent of fire service education; broke with tradition by having firefighters wear distinctive orange helmets and coats; and had the red fire vehicles repainted lime green after studies showed that color was more visible to drivers.

Like Chapman said, Sheridan was not just the fire chief. He also served on the county board for more than 25 years and was the president of the Will County Forest Preserve, chairman of the Will County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and a member of the Joliet Junior College Fire Science Advisory Committee.

"It's a sad day for Will County," said Jim Moustis, the county board chairman. "He was a man that was dedicated to his community, dedicated to Will County and, of course, he was dedicated to the fire department."

Sheridan is survived by his wife, Donna. He was the father of two daughters and a friend to many.

"I just feel proud that I knew him," Chapman said. "He was the third person that I met when I moved here 36 years ago. I'm going to miss him terribly."

Funeral Information

Funeral services will be held at the Troy Crossroad Middle School, 210 Black Road, Shorewood, Saturday, February 16th at 10:00 A.M. Rev. George A. Klima officiating.

Visitation will be held at the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home, 2320 Black Road Friday from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Republished with permission of The Herald News.

Troy Township Fire Protection District