Chief Jerry Burke Recognition Award
IFCA Jerry Burke Recognition Award
This award was created in 2021 and named after one of Illinois Fire Chiefs Associations Leaders, Chief Jerry Burke.
Jerry was Fire Chief in Skokie and then served the association for nineteen years as Executive Director. His dedication, guidance and calming demeanor set the foundation for our association and helped to shape the IFCA to what it is today. Jerry was man who understood that asking for your help and simply saying thank you went a long way – just ask many who said yes and did it with an honor and respect for the man. The individual who is awarded this recognition in name of Jerry is one that must exhibit an enthusiasm for the fire service, his fellow man and simply wants to give back at many levels.
The criteria for this award is a nomination brought to the Presidents who exemplifies the fire service motto of selfless service, giving back and in return a smile. This award looks at a person’s journey and the mark they left, who they helped leaving you with the comment ‘That’s the guy I want to be like”. The Award is meant for that person that has gone the extra mile for the Fire Service. The person who lives to help and mentor others. A person who does not ask what’s in it for them. Anyone can be eligible for this award. There is not a specific list of qualifiers or criteria to achieve. The nomination is presented to the IFCA Presidents and after review and consultation if they see fit passes, it along to the Past Presidents Advisory committee for review and decision whether they deserve the award. This award was not created to become an annual award.
Chief Jerry Burke Recognition Award Recipients
Chief Edward Enright - Chicago FD - Initial Recipient - 2021
Chief Eddy Enright, aka "EE", is the initial recipient of the Jerry Burke recognition. Chief Enright spent his career with the Chicago Fire Department but also used the knowledge and life lessons he gained to teach firefighters - keeping them safe on the job. He is the walking manafestation of DUTY, PRIDE, TRADITION and he is to be honored as a man who has that as his foundation. A man who is a mentor, a true professional, humble and just a giant of a personality that professes DPT always. A man who believes in finding the good in people his team, tell the team what they did well and now let’s improve.
A Viet Nam Combat Veteran, third generation Chicago firefighter, lead instructor at IFSI and a man who will tell you the only things that still fits after his tour of duty with the US Army is his socks.
Chief Robert Buhs - Orland Park FD, IFCA Executive Director - Recipient - 2022
Robert M. Buhs began with the Orland Fire District in 1973 as a Volunteer Firefighter and was appointed as Chief Administrator in 1988 and again in 1999, when he served until 2004. Chief Buhs served as the President of the IL Fire Chiefs Association in 1996 and as the Executive Director from 2003 until 2013. As the Executive Director of the IFCA, Bob was influential in bringing the organization to the highly regarded position it enjoys to this day. He saw the benefits of being involved - or maybe the problem with not being involved - in the legislative process both in Springfield and Washington DC. The legislative efforts that Bob championed have had an long lasting impact on the fire service in Illinois.
His knowledge and direction is valued and respected throughout the fire service. He continues his involvement through teaching and mentoring the future fire service leaders.