Eric Akerley, Past Chief, Current Assistant Chief
Woodridge Fire Department
Years in service: 35
The drive to join the fire service is, to Eric Akerley, akin to a life force.
“The fire department life has to be in your blood,” Akerley says. “You have to have your heart and soul in this adventure.”
This adventure, for Akerly, began back in 1988. His dad, Harold, was a member of the fire department, so becoming a firefighter was in his dna. The fire service runs in the Akerley family, just as surely as eye color runs in others.
“My greatest pleasure has been watching my son Nolan join the department as a junior member and rise to the rank of chief,” says Akerly. “There’s nothing more gratifying than that. Nolan keeps the fire service in my blood as if I just started.”