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Retired Waukegan firefighter, Wadsworth trustee dies of coronavirus complications

Ken Harvey and his son Rob Harvey Jr. | Photo provided by the Waukegan Fire Department.

A 28-year veteran of the Waukegan Fire Department, who served in the U.S. Army and was a current Wadsworth village trustee, died of coronavirus complications on Friday.

Ken Harvey, 70, of Wadsworth, died early Friday morning at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. He had been admitted to the hospital on April 2 and moved to the intensive care unit a few days later on a ventilator.

Harvey was taken from Condell to Salata Funeral Home in Gurnee. Numerous police and fire departments lined the procession route to pay tribute to him.

“Our Brother Ken Harvey was all things Waukegan and demonstrated that in over 28 years of dedicated service, caring and compassion to our community, department, family and profession,” the Waukegan Fire Department said.

“Words cannot express what you have done for the fire service, nor the sacrifices given to others. Not only was he a servant directly to this community he served in the United States Army,” the department added.

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Harvey was hired by the Waukegan Fire Department in 1973 and established the Waukegan Fire Department Local 473 as a bargaining unit in the mid-late 70s.

He also helped create the Waukegan Bomb Team Program and initiated the department’s Vital Link Program.

Harvey was among the first paramedics in the Waukegan Fire Department in 1974. He assisted in leading the department’s EMS program and was promoted- to lieutenant in 1987 before eventually rising to captain.

He retired as a fire captain in May 2002 and was elected to the Wadsworth Village Board of Trustees in 2007.

Ken Harvey’s son, Rob Harvey Jr., is an active member of the Waukegan Fire Department and also contracted COVID-19, Lake and McHenry County Scanner has learned.


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