Heroin Awareness Community Meeting Recap

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The Orland Fire Protection District hosted a Heroin Awareness Community Meeting on July 15th, 2014. More than 100 parents and children were in attendance along with members of the Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees — President Jim Hickey, Treasurer Chris Evoy, and Secretary Jayne Schirmacher. Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello also were in attendance to show support for the need to heighten public awareness of the substance abuse problems in the surrounding communities.

“I think it is very important that we come together as a community and speak about these issues because they are important to our families and our children. We don’t want to pretend they don’t exist and sweep them under the rug,” Gorman said.

Public Service Announcements shared during meeting:

WARNNG: These videos contain scenes which may be too graphic for young viewers. Watch with caution.

The meeting was led by Battalion Chief Michael Schofield (In the Blink of an Eye Foundation Founder). Speakers included Carl Sandburg High School graduates Michael Schofield, who was a 3rd round draft pick to the NFL Denver Broncos this year, and Kendall Coyne, an Olympic U.S. Hockey Team Silver Medalist. Schofield and Coyne spoke about how drug abuse could have impacted their career goals and prevented them from attaining their achievements. Carl Sandburg Sophomore and athletic standout, Patrick Brucki, also spoke about his current experiences as a high school student and athlete and how he manages to stay away from drug abuse.

To finish off the community meeting, two parents painfully detailed how drug and substance abuse impacted their children’s lives along with their own. Tami O’Brien spoke about her son, a Chicago policeman who was involved in a DUI that took two lives. Tami now works with AAIM (Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists) to educate youth on the dangers of drinking and driving. Brian Kirk, HERO Foundation Co-Founder, also spoke about his battle to save his son from heroin abuse and the unfortunate outcome that ultimately ended in death due to overdose. HERO offers education and support to families affected by heroin abuse.

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