Colleagues recall Bloomingdale deputy chief as 'remarkable firefighter'
Colleagues say fire safety was the focus of Walter Beahan's life.
Beahan, who served as deputy chief of Bloomingdale Fire Protection District 1, died Thursday after battling an illness.
Colleagues called him "Wally" and said they are upset by his death.
"He was a remarkable firefighter who dedicated his life to the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District and to the fire service, and he will be missed," Bloomingdale Chief Michael McNamara wrote in a prepared statement.
Beahan's 32-year career began after he graduated from Southern Illinois University and Northwest Community Emergency Medical Services System Paramedic Program.
Within the Bloomingdale district, he worked his way up from paramedic coordinator, communications director and computer network administrator. He was promoted to the deputy chief post in early March.
During his career Beahan served in several key posts: he was a former member of the Mutual Aid Box System Alarm 12 Hazardous Materials Response Team; and he served as a charter member and former executive board member for the Bloomingdale Professional Firefighters Association Local 3272.
In recent years, Beahan was a member of the DuPage County Emergency Telephone Systems Board Radio Steering Committee. His role was to help plan, test and review the new DuPage Emergency Dispatch Interoperability Radio System. The system allows police, fire and emergency departments throughout the region to communicate during a crisis.
"For over six years, he provided sound analysis and advice to governmental decision-makers in helping our emergency responders prepare for the future," McNamara said in the statement.
Beahan is survived by his wife, Mary, four adult children and two grandchildren. A visitation happened Monday and services will be at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Salerno's Rosedale Chapels, 450 W. Lake St., Roselle, proceeding to St. Isidore Church for Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Assumption Cemetery. Please omit flowers. For details, call (630) 889-1700.