Kenneth Brucki steps into ‘big job’ as Orland fire chief
Pleasantview Fire Chief Kevin Doyle (left) and Lt. Ken Brucki talk at the Pleasantview Fire Station 1 June 4. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun Times Media
NAME: Kenneth Brucki
BEST KNOWN AS: Pleasantview Fire Protection District lieutenant, named Orland Fire Protection District Chief
HOMETOWN: Orland Park
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:12AM
After a nationwide search, Lt. Kenneth Brucki of the Pleasantview Fire Protection District is the new chief of the Orland Fire Protection District.
But it is with mixed feelings that he leaves the place he has worked for nearly 18 years.
“It was just a fantastic job,” Brucki said of Pleasantview. “I’ve formed some incredible friendships.”
Forming similar relationships within the Orland district will be both a priority and a challenge, Brucki said.
“In our business, trust is everything. We rely on each other,” Brucki said. “That just takes time.”
That time will begin on Tuesday morning, when he steps in as the district’s new leader. As chief, Brucki will oversee the district’s six fire houses and 160 employees.
“It’s about three times the size of Pleasantview,” Brucki said. “It’s a big job, and I’m not taking it lightly”
A resident of Orland Park for the last 12 years, Brucki, 44, said the opportunity to lead his hometown’s department is something he couldn’t pass up.
Orland fire district trustees chose Brucki from a field of more than 40 applicants.
“We narrowed the field down to the top three candidates, and in the end, the board felt that Ken Brucki has the experience, the skills and the leadership to help us move forward with the mandate that the public expects from us,” Jim Hickey, president of the Orland district’s board of trustees, said in a news release. “That mandate is to provide the highest quality fire protection services and safety and to do so with sensitivity for the challenges of today’s economy.”
Brucki began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Merrionette Park in 1988. He later was a part-time firefighter in Darien-Woodridge before taking a full-time position at Pleasantview, where he most recently served as lieutenant and training officer.
Replacing Brucki is no small task, Pleasantview Chief Kevin Doyle said.
Doyle said firefighter Karl Argast, a member of the Pleasantview team since 1996, will be promoted to lieutenant.
Lt. Kevin Mulligan will take over Brucki’s training duties, and a new firefighter will be hired to fill Mulligan’s job.
Doyle said he was unpleasantly surprised by Brucki’s announcement, but he wishes his friend and colleague the best.
“He’s an exceptional company officer and firefighter. He’s going to do a great job,” Doyle said.
Brucki said he’ll take the work ethic and professionalism he experienced at Pleasantview into his new position.