Crete Fire Chief Michael Waterman was inspired by his father to join the fire service more than three decades ago.
“My father was a firefighter/captain for Beecher Fire District for 40 years,” Waterman told Will County Gazette. “There is why I wanted to do this job and follow in his footsteps.”
Waterman worked for the Crete Township Fire District for 20 years, the Beecher Fire District for 27 years and the Frankfort Fire District for 10 years. He became Fire Chief for the Village of Crete in February 2017.
“My experience so far has been tremendous,” Waterman said. “This has been one of the best decisions that I have made, and it’s fun to come to work every day. I enjoy the challenges of the job, love working with the guys of the department and helping people.”
Crete Fire Department operates out of two fire stations. Each is equipped with an Advance Life Support ambulance and at least one fire engine. Waterman added staffing and 24-hour coverage to both stations in 2018 and purchased a new ambulance in 2017. The department is in the process of buying a new rescue/pumper this year.
“I want the community to feel comfortable with the fire department and the quality of the department,” he said. “My goal is to leave the department in the same shape or better from when I took over.”
Waterman was born and raised in the south suburbs, where he still currently resides. He attended Kankakee Community College for law enforcement and has taken many fire-related classes in his 34 years in the fire service.
Waterman is a member of his local AMVET and the state funeral funeral committee for firefighter deaths. He also works for a funeral home and is on the incident management team for MABAS 27. When he has spare time, Waterman enjoys spending time with his family and being involved in his church.