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The Chillicothe Voice

Why I Joined Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District—December 2022

Dec 12, 2022 04:05PM ● By Fire Chief Marvin Roderick

My name is Marvin Roderick; I have been married to my wonderful wife, Heidi, for 31 years. We have one 22-year-old son that started his fire career in Chillicothe and is now a Peoria Firefighter. I grew up in a Firefighter family; my grandpa, dad, brother, uncles, and cousins were all in the department. My grandfather was my fire service mentor. He was one of the founders of the Eastern Prairie FPD, Chief, and Trustee for over 30 years. He was progressive and took that department to the next level. He was always encouraging me to get educated and train. He used to tell me that I would be Fire Chief one day.  

In 1986, I became a volunteer firefighter. I obtained my Associate’s Degree in Fire Science and EMT at Parkland College and took every IFSI class I could. I wanted to be ready for any emergency service job I could get. The Burnham City Hospital in Champaign hired me as an ER Orderly then in 1988, their ambulance service (Pro Ambulance) hired me as an EMT.

My first career firefighting job was at the U of I Willard Airport. I stayed there until the Peoria Fire Department hired me. From there, I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University. I was also a Fire Service Instructor at Illinois Central College.

I retired after 23 years from the Peoria Fire Department as a Fire Captain and the Hazardous Materials Coordinator. After spending so much of my life in the fire service, I was not ready or able to leave the life of serving others. So, when the opportunity presented itself to become the Fire Chief of the Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District in 2019, I jumped on the chance. For me, fire service is not just a career but a way of life. 

The Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District has allowed me to continue to do what I love. For the last three years, I have had the great fortune to continually work with our great men and women within the fire department and the people of this wonderful community. While my mentor and grandfather passed many years ago, I hope I continue to make him proud as I look forward to many more years as Fire Chief for the Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District. If you or anyone you know would like to join and learn more about what it takes to serve our community proudly, please reach out or stop by Station 1 for Monday night training.