Illinois Stories

Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Robert Hoff, Hines

(Nominated by Joyce Hoff)
Hines Veteran Affairs Hospital
May 3, 2011

My husband Bob Hoff, Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Dept, will tell you that he is just a firefighter. He has saved many lives during his career.  There have been two rescues for which he received the Carter Harrison Award, the city’s highest award for firefighting valor and he is the only person to receive this twice. Upon hearing the 9/11 tragedy on the radio, he recruited firefighters to head out to New York the next day to help his New York City brothers and sisters. They stayed until they were no longer needed. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans he put together a team and headed out to help anyone in need. They stayed two weeks helping anyone they could. He was severely burned in a fire in 1984 and flown via helicopter to the burn unit at University of Chicago hospital where he stayed for one month enduring painful treatment and procedures. He couldn’t wait to get back on the job to do it all over again. His father was also on the Chicago Fire Dept and was killed on the job in a fire when Bob was five years old. He has vowed to save everyone he can and he has done his best to do that. If you were to ask him if he thinks of himself as a hero, he would look at you sternly and say “I was only doing my job”. That to me is a hero.