Orland Park man is new OFPD chief
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org May 24, 2012 4:30PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:56AM
An Orland Park man who’s a fire lieutenant in the western suburbs and has long been involved in youth sports in the village was named Thursday as the new chief of the Orland Fire Protection District.
Kenneth Brucki, 44, has worked since 1994 for the Pleasantview Fire Protection District, which serves Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park and portions of Burr Ridge and Willowbrook. A swearing-in ceremony for Brucki could be scheduled for June 4, a spokesman for the Orland district said.
Brucki, who has lived in Orland Park for a dozen years, said in a statement that he’s “very honored and appreciative to be given this opportunity to represent one of the best fire districts in the country.”
Orland fire district trustees settled on Brucki after interviewing three finalists for the chief’s job, including Acting Chief Ray Kay.
A nationwide search was conducted to find a replacement for Bryant Krizik, who retired as chief last summer after being placed on administrative leave a year ago. Kay, a battalion chief, has been acting chief since Krizik went on leave.
“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 and his family have long been involved with the Orland Park Pioneers and the Orland Youth Association, both youth sports organizations. He and his wife, Patti, a high school teacher, have three children.
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, the Orland fire district said.
Kay, who will resume his duties as battalion chief, said he intends to work closely with Brucki and “ensure a seamless transfer of authority.”
The district said Brucki’s first priority would be to “bring the focus of the district back to fire protection and safety,” and that he would conduct an efficiency study to evaluate and improve fire services.
Along with Brucki and Kay, another finalist was from the Clark County (Nev.) Fire Department, which serves Las Vegas and the surrounding area, the district said. More than 40 applicants were considered for the chief’s post.