Fire Sprinkler Advocates Wilcox (Park Forest) & Trayling (Lake Zurich) Retire

On March 29, two leading advocates of home fire sprinkler protection in Illinois, Park Forest Fire Chief Robert Wilcox and Lake Zurich Assistant Fire Marshal Guy Trayling, retired and left behind their legacies within the Illinois fire service. Both leave safer communities behind due to their dedication to provide residents with the best home fire safety in the form of home fire sprinklers.

“Bob Wilcox and Guy Trayling have served proudly and their leadership will truly be missed among their fire service colleagues and communities,” says Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “We thank these gentlemen for all that they have accomplished and we wish them the best of luck in their retirements.”

Park Forest Fire Chief Robert Wilcox

Robert Wilcox (Park Forest)

Robert Wilcox worked in the fire service for over 40 years, starting in Texas and relocating to Illinois in 1976. His first several years, Wilcox served in Fort Sheridan, Highland Park and Highwood.

Then, for 21 years Wilcox established his dedication to fire safety in Matteson, retiring as fire chief in 2005. It was in Matteson that Wilcox first saw success passing a home fire sprinkler ordinance in January 2004. As a resident of Matteson himself, Wilcox led by example by installing the Village’s first home fire sprinkler system in his own home.

After retiring in Matteson, Wilcox spent his final seven years with the Park Forest Fire Department. There, too, he was able to convince Village officials to pass a home fire sprinkler ordinance in September 2008.

In a Park Forest press release that noted Wilcox’s retirement on March 29, Mayor John Ostenburg stated: “For three decades Bob Wilcox has been a leader within the ranks of public safety officials in the south suburbs. On behalf of the citizens of Park Forest, I express to him deepest thanks for his commitment to health and safety in our community and in our region.

Lake Zurich Fire Rescue’s Assistant Fire Marshal Guy Trayling (center) and Fire Chief David Wheelock (right) with NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia (left).

Guy Trayling (Lake Zurich)

Guy Trayling has been a member of the fire service for over 30 years. He worked for the Bensenville Fire Department for 20 years before spending his last 12 years with Lake Zurich Fire Rescue.

During his time in Lake Zurich, Trayling was part of a successful effort to create a home fire sprinkler ordinance for the Village, which was passed in September 2009.

Twice he has been awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW) Firefighter of the Year Award. He has also received the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Governement Employee Award, a service award for public education from the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, and an Achievement Award from the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association with which he provided exceptional work on the School Fire Safety Committee.


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