William Bonnar Jr


William Bonnar JrWilliam Bonnar Jr., is a highly decorated First Responder Fire Fighter with more than 40 years experience. His father also served with distinction and helped found today’s modern day Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD). Through his service, Bonnar helped ensure that the OFPD is the best in the nation when it comes to saving lives & fighting fires.

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Bonnar joined the OFPD in 1976 and retired with honors in 2017 after 39 years of service. He currently serves since 2018 as the Fire Chief for the Chicago Ridge Fire Dept. Previously, Bonnar also served 20 years at Homer Township Fire Protection District (TFPD) as a Chief Officer.

While at the Orland Fire Protection District, Bonnar served as Operations Battalion Chief from 2015 until 2017. Previously, he served as a Lieutenant Training/Staff Coordinator from 1986 until 1992 coordinating all training for full-time and paid on-call personnel, supervised all activities at the Training Facility as Safety Officer for all structure fires and special rescues.

Bonnar was also the coordinator for the Dive Team and supervised the grant writing application process for the Training Facility. He also worked as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic from 1980 until 1986.

Like many dedicated firefighters and First Responders, Bonnar worked during his spare time with other fire departments including with the Evergreen Park Fire Department from 1983 until 1986.


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“My commitment has always been to protect the public and to respond to every possible emergency situation with professional expertise to save lives and extinguish fires,” Bonnar said.

“The Orland Fire Protection District is one of the nation’s premiere leaders in saving lives and fighting fires and I am proud to have played a part in that significant achievement.”

Bonnar has degrees from Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC), and Southern Illinois University (SIU).

A highly decorated First Responder, Bonnar’s career includes many professional recognitions including: 3 Administrative Commendations, 2 Unit Citations, 1 Individual Citation, and 10 Unit Command citations.

Bonnar with other BC at OFPD photo public domain courtesy of the OFPD

His experience is reflected in the many certifications that he has earned over the years from the State of Illinois that include: Firefighter II (September, 1980); Fire Apparatus Engineer (April, 1984); Instructor II (May, 1984); Instructor IV (April, 1989); Fire Officer II (April, 1989); Hazmat Incident Command (October, 2001); Chief Fire Officer (May 2016); Firefighter III (August, 1981); Instructor I (December, 1983); Instructor III (December, 1984); Fire Officer I (January, 1984); Hazmat I (May, 1990); Fire Officer III (80% Complete, 1998); Emergency Rescue Technician Instructor (May, 1985); PADI Rescue Driver (September, 1986); and Roadway Extrication (May, 1993).

Other certifications include: Emergency Rescue Technician (May, 1981); PADI Open Water Driver/Advanced (October, 1985); Fire Arson Investigator I & II (May, 1992).

His Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training includes: E.M.T (August, 1977); and Paramedic (Ingalls Hospital, May 1980-1997).

Bonnar is a single parent. His wife of 32 years, Susan, died of Cancer in 2015. They have four wonderful children Ben (Lindsay) Sarah, Anthony, and Nicholas (Erica), and one grandson, Landon.

William Bonnar Jr. Retirement in 2017 after 39 years of services with the OFPD. Photo public domain courtesy of the OFPD

William Bonnar Jr. Retirement in 2017 after 39 years of services with the OFPD. Photo public domain courtesy of the OFPD