Mokena's Assistant Fire Chief Cirelli keeps his focus on community after 27 years with the district
Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Cirelli has seen it all in nearly three decades with the Mokena Fire Protection District (MFPD).
“My experience working with the Mokena Fire Protection District has been extremely positive and rewarding,” Cirelli told Will County Gazette. “Over the past 27 years, I have enjoyed being a part of the fire district as it has evolved from a one-station district staffed with two contract personnel to a fully staffed three-station fire district, providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, public education and community risk-reduction programs. I have been honored to grow along with the district, having begun my journey in 1991 as a paid on-call firefighter while still a senior at Lincoln-Way High School.”
Cirelli has held many positions with the MFPD prior to becoming assistant fire chief in 2011. Among those have been a paid on-call lieutenant, full-time firefighter/paramedic and full-time lieutenant/paramedic.
“I have been privileged to serve under two extremely talented leaders (Chief Ted Golden and Chief Howard Stephens), both of which have expected the MFPD to provide exceptional customer service and who have provided the staff with the appropriate support to accomplish this expectation,” he said.
Cirelli’s favorite part about working for MFPD is knowing their efforts have a positive impact on the community.
“I believe the greatest accomplishments are achieved through the joint efforts of the entire community and organization,” Cirelli said. “Two of these community accomplishments are having been awarded accredited-agency status and being recognized as an ISO Class One Fire District. Without the support of the community and the entire MFPD organization, neither of these achievements would have been possible.”
Raised in the Illinois village of South Holland, Cirelli moved to Mokena with his family in 1988 and has resided there ever since.
“I fell in love with the Mokena community as soon as my family moved here,” Cirelli said. “I spent eight years as a paid on-call/part-time firefighter, working various other jobs full-time, before I decided to pursue firefighting as a career. I chose to work for the MFPD because I saw firsthand the positive impact that I would be able to have on people on the worst day of their lives.”
In addition to being assistant fire chief, Cirelli participates in various organizations in the Mokena community. He has served as vice president of the Mokena Community Public Library District for about 15 years and commissioner for the Village of Mokena Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals for almost 20 years.
Cirelli has an associate in applied science degree in fire service technology from Joliet Junior College, a bachelor of science degree in fire service management from Southern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy.
Cirelli enjoys spending whatever spare time he can find with his family.