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Palos Fire needs contest votes for kitchen ‘on advanced life support’

The kitchen in the Palos Fire Protection District Station 1 is in need of a makeover according to officials. (Photo submitted by Palos Fire Protection District).

The kitchen in the Palos Fire Protection District Station 1 is in need of a makeover according to officials. (Photo submitted by Palos Fire Protection District).

The Palos Fire District’s kitchen in station No. 1 is “on advanced life support,” according to Administrative Assistant Marianne DeHaan.

With continuing budget woes making the kitchen a low priority, DeHaan entered the district in a national contest and the firefighters are hoping that their brethren and community members all over the Midwest will help them out with internet votes.

Palos is one of five finalists out of 5,000 departments that entered the Rescue Remodel contest sponsored by IKEA, the Family Handyman and Reader’s Digest.

Consumer voting is currently open now through Feb. 28 at

The firehouse with the most votes will receive a kitchen makeover valued at $25,000. As of Feb. 8, Palos led with 59,546 votes followed by Yonkers, N.Y. (48,800), Redondo Beach, Calif. (26,050), a Fire District of New York station (12,913), and Sheridan, Ore. (8,308).

Palos Fire Chief Steven Carr said people can vote once a day and is hoping for wide support.

“We’re the only fire district from the Midwest,” Carr said. “That’s a distinct honor. We’re representing the Midwest and looking for the support of our adjacent states and adjacent regions to join us in competition with the East Coast and the West Coast.”

Palos’ No. 1 station is located at 8815 West 123rd St. in Palos Park. The district serves all of Palos Park as well as portions of Orland Park, Palos Heights and unincorporated Palos Township.

DeHaan was watching an episode of “Ron Hazleton’s HouseCalls” at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday and saw the promotion for the contest. She wrote an essay saying it was a “9-1-1 call” for a deteriorating kitchen that was “on advanced life support.”

Carr lauded DeHaan for her creative essay. DeHaan said getting to the finals was a longshot, but that “you can’t win if you don’t enter.”

“I would love it for the guys if we can win,” DeHaan said. “It’s their area. It’s their home away from home. They spend their holidays here. It’s like my second family. I hope we do go all the way. The other finalists are deserving, too, but this is close to our hearts.”

Once the winner is selected, the remodel, led by home improvement expert Hazelton, will take place in May. The renovation will be unveiled in the September issue of The Family Handyman and across its digital network, as well as on

The remodel and the winning firehouse will be featured across The Family Handyman print and digital networks.

Carr is hoping to hang onto the contest lead for the rest of the month.

“I wouldn’t want to see this kitchen in my home,” Carr said. “But this is the home for the people who work here for 24 hours. This kitchen is in need of some updating and some repairs. It was on the list of things we needed to do but given the finances of the district and given the fact that we have to prioritize where we are spending our money this ranked very, very low.”

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