Antioch Rescue Squad Chief Sobczak calls it quits
By Diana Kuyper Special to The News-Sun October 25, 2012 7:54PM
Updated: December 25, 2012 1:15AM
Wayne Sobczak, chief of the Antioch Rescue Squad for the past 14 years, announced Thursday he is retiring with Deputy Chief Brian DeKind appointed acting chief effective immediately.
Sobczak has been a member of the Antioch Rescue Squad for more than 40 years, serving as chief since 1998.
“This is in the best interest of the squad so we can move forward and go in a different direction in leadership,” said Sobczak. “Brian has shown tremendous leadership abilities and it is time to pass the torch.”
“We thank Wayne for his many years of dedicated service to the community of Antioch,” said DeKind. “As acting chief, I am pleased with the strides the squad has made to better serve the residents of Antioch and hold the squad’s volunteers to the highest standards of professionalism. The Antioch Rescue Squad remains committed to providing our community with the highest-quality EMS services and medical care.”
Sobczak said he plans to focus on his business as a real estate agent with Realty World-Tiffany in Antioch.
Sobzcak’s announcement follows a troubled past few months for the ARS, a private non-profit organization that has been providing 9-1-1 ambulance services for Antioch since 1940.
In August ARS was cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health for a variety of deficiencies that zeroed in on problems with ARS leadership. Last month, board president Steve Smouse, treasurer John Edgell and secretary Patrick Chostner said they would step down from the board.
Then last week, Edgell was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $12,000 from ARS over the past decade and the ARS was fined $15,000 by IDPH for infractions involving unauthorized use of prescription drugs and for staffing ambulances with unqualified personnel.
Sobczak’s announcement precedes the squad’s officer elections Nov. 19. The elections mark an important change in the structure of the ARS board of directors, said DeKind.
The board of seven individuals will be elected by the squad’s entire membership and includes the chief, deputy chief and two assistant chiefs.
As part of a recent revamping of the bylaws, three individuals, completely independent of the squad, will fill the board positions of president, treasurer and secretary.
“These will be well-respected members of the community with extensive leadership, business and/or medical experience,” said DeKind.
“My full attention will remain focused on resolving these issues and enhancing the level of service and communication provided by ARS,” said DeKind.