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Article updated: 12/8/2013 5:53 PM

Gift honors late Buffalo Grove police and fire official

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The Joint Commission is donating $10,000 to the village of Buffalo Grove in honor of Jerod Loeb, a Buffalo Grove fire and police commissioner since 2005, who lost his two-year battle with prostate cancer on Oct. 9 at age 63.

Loeb worked at the Joint Commission in Oakbrook Terrace for 19 years, serving as executive vice president, health care quality and evaluation division. The independent, nonprofit organization accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

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Fire Chief Terry Vavra told the village board last week that the donation is being used to purchase extra rugged tablet computers for emergency responders providing patient-centered treatment on ambulance calls.

He called Loeb, the 2012 Heart of Buffalo Grove Above and Beyond Award winner, a "visionary leader and a friend" who loved the fire service.

"As a final act of service, he asked that donations be made to the fire department in lieu of flowers," Vavra said.

The fire department received more than $5,000 in donations in addition to the Joint Commission check.

"When we looked at the check -- and we looked at it a lot -- we thought there was a mistake," Vavra said. "But with that donation, and the donations of many of Jarod's friends and family and colleagues, we were able to purchase five tablets, which will outfit all four of our ambulances and have a spare available, to efficiently and effectively complete reports on the way to the hospital, something we can't do right now."

The tablets should decrease the total time for calls, as well as allow firefighters to sit at the side of the patient while using the tablet to fill in information, he said.

In attendance at the board meeting were Loeb's widow, Sherri, and daughter Jennifer.

"When we first moved to Buffalo Grove, it was quite a change for Jerod, who grew up in inner-city Brooklyn," Sherri said, recalling that when he attended his first Buffalo Grove Days parade, it was like taking a kid to the circus.

"I used to say he had three lives. He had his immediate family, he had the Joint Commission and then he had his volunteer life with the village of Buffalo Grove," she said.

She said he has passed on his legacy of service to Jennifer, who will be a physician in May, and to his daughter Rebecca, who is close to becoming a police officer.

At the Joint Commission, Loeb played a leading role in identifying, evaluating and implementing performance measures across the wide variety of accreditation and certification programs, receiving the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

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