Rotary honors Buffalo Grove firefighter for pandemic efforts

Recognizing his key role during the pandemic, the Buffalo Grove Rotary has named Lt. Jeff Morris Buffalo Grove's 2020 Firefighter of the Year.

Rotary members chose Morris after a nomination committee of the fire department reviewed submissions.

Morris, a 31-year veteran of the force, called it a great honor.

"Coming in every day, when I walk through the back door of the station, I hope that I can make a difference in somebody else's life," he said.

Morris said the fire department worked with other village departments last year to make sure that everybody had their needs met and were able to keep the level of service they strive to deliver to residents. A downside of the pandemic, he said, was the loss of public education efforts like station tours and being out in the public.

Buffalo Grove Rotary President Brett Robinson said Morris stepped up at the onset of the pandemic last year to coordinate logistics and ensure that each station had the needed cleaning supplies and PPE to operate.

"Lt. Morris worked tirelessly to gather information for the policies and procedures so that department operations aligned with the ever-changing guidelines throughout the pandemic," Robinson said.

The award comes with $500 in charitable donations in Morris' name - $250 to the Rotary Foundation and $250 to OMNI Youth Services.

"I truly believe that everybody in the village, in all departments, stepped up and worked together to make sure that we were able to continue the level of service that we provide our residents," Morris said.

"Everybody in the fire department has stepped up over and above what we normally do."

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