Lt. Frank William Fouts V (October 29, 1972 – July 1, 2010) was a City of Kankakee Firefighter/Paramedic. He served from July 1998 until his death. He died at 37 years old while serving with the Kankakee City Fire Department.
Lt. Fouts was born October 23, 1972 in Chicago Heights, Illinois to Frank William Fouts, IV and Bettina Tarquinio Fouts. Fouts grew up in Crete, IL and attended three different high schools. Ultimately, he finished at Bloom Trail High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in Fire Science. He had one brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Carrie Fouts. He also had two half sisters, Jessica Fouts and Rebecca Fouts. He married the former Kathleen Joan Benoit of Grant Park on September 10, 2006. Together they had two sons who were 6 years old and 11 months old at the time of his death. Lt. Fouts enjoyed home remodeling during his off hours. His friends and colleagues characterized him as a “master craftsman.” Many called him LT or Lou in reference to his rank of Lieutenant.
Lt. Fouts began his firefighting career by volunteering at the Grant Park Fire Department where he subsequently earned a permanent position. However, he elected to attend Southern Illinois University to major in Fire Science. After graduation, Lt. Fouts was hired by the City of Kankakee Fire department in July 1998. He was already a certified paramedic at the time of his hiring. Lt. Fouts developed the medical emergency procedures handbook that is required reading for all city firefighters. He also did certified CPR training for other city departments, such as the Kankakee Public Library. Fouts worked out of Firehouse #5 where he served his last tour of duty with Capt. Damon Schuldt. Capt. Mike Casagrande commented that he was certain that Lt. Fouts had a leadership role in his future at the Kankakee Fire Department.
At 1:10pm on Thursday, July 1, 2010 Lt. Fouts was discovered unconscious in the backyard of his home in Bourbonnais. Rescue personnel were unable to revive him. Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner stated a preliminary examination indicates death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia. Ironically, Lt. Fouts’ last response as a paramedic with Capt. Schuldt was to the River Road Softball Complex where 25-year-old Matthew Bultema of Momence had collapsed after crossing home plate during a game. Fouts and Schuldt were unable to save Bultema who Coroner Gessner judged died of a similar heart malady that would claim Fouts the next afternoon. The news of Fouts' death spread throughout the community rapidly, leaving his fellow firefighters and Kankakeeans generally in shock. Purple and black bunting draped the doorway to the Donald E. Green Public Safety Building, headquarters of the city’s Fire Department. Two firefighters stayed with his body from the moment news of his death broke to his burial 5 days later. An estimated 300 firefighters from across the state, Indiana and Wisconsin attended Lt. Fouts' funeral. Scores of fire trucks from around the region lined up to form his honor guard.
- "Veteran Firefighter Fouts found dead", The Daily Journal, July 2, 2010
- "Hundreds remember Lt. Frank Fouts", The Daily Journal, July 6, 2010
- "He was the hardest working person", The Daily Journal, July 6, 2010
- "Obituary - Lt. Frank Fouts V", The Daily Journal, July 6, 2010
- "Lieutenant Frank William Fouts V", Kanwiki.org, July 13, 2010