Compton volunteer firefighters rush to the rescue


COMPTON - May 1 started as a normal evening for the Kofoid family. Kyle Kofoid’s parents were over for a cookout. In fact, he and his dad, Steve, both members of the Compton Volunteer Fire Department, were just starting the grill.

But at 5:46 p.m., the Compton Fire/EMS was paged to an emergency: “Female down, smoke in the house!” Although the home was in the far northern area of Compton’s District, without hesitation Steve and Kyle both drove directly to the scene in rural Steward. On arrival, they first saw a kitchen with heavy, black smoke. Knowing someone was inside, they entered and found an unresponsive female on the floor. The Kofoids carried the woman out to the garage and when Compton’s engine arrived, Kyle carried hose into the house and knocked back the flames. As other departments arrived, walls were torn out and the fire was extinguished.

The Paw Paw ambulance drove the patient to intercept with Mendota Advanced Life Support. If the Kofoids had not taken immediate action and left their cookout, the patient would not have survived.

Steve has been a member of the Compton Volunteer Fire Department for 34 years and Kyle has served for 20 years, first as a Cadet. “I saw my dad volunteer his time while growing up. When it was my turn, I joined the department. It just felt natural,” commented Kyle. “I don’t volunteer for fame. I do it hoping that if my grandma needed help, someone would volunteer their time and knowledge to help her.”

The Compton Volunteer Fire Department is proud of Steve and Kyle for their quick response to this call. The Kofoids, along with nearly all fire and EMS in Lee County are volunteers, a fact not everyone in the area realizes. When a call for help goes out, these volunteers stop what they are doing to respond to a neighbor’s emergency. They are true heroes. Compton and all departments in this area are very short of these helpers. If any citizens would like to be a part of a great organization, please consider joining. Just contact your local fire department.

Compton also expressed their appreciation to Paw Paw, West Brooklyn, Mendota, Rochelle, and Ogle-Lee fire departments for their assistance. As of this writing, the patient has had the respirator removed but is still in critical condition.