Orland FPD chief steps in
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org June 4, 2012 11:22PM
Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki
Updated: June 5, 2012 10:14PM
Declaring he’s “ready for the next step,” Ken Brucki was sworn in Monday evening as chief of the Orland Fire Protection District.
The Orland Park resident has worked for the Pleasantview Fire Protection District since 1994 and has served as a first lieutenant for just under a year. That district covers Burr Ridge, Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park and Willowbrook. He began his career in 1988 as a volunteer with the Merrionette Park Fire Department.
Brucki, 44, was picked for the job after a nationwide search. He will be paid $150,000 annually and has a three-year contract with the district.
After he was sworn in, Brucki thanked Orland fire district board members for having confidence in him, telling them, “I will not let you down.”
Fire board president Jim Hickey called Brucki a chief who will “give us direction and lead the district through the challenging hurdles” it faces, and that Brucki “has the credentials, confidence and the backing of this board.”
Brucki acknowledged that while he hasn’t held a command rank for an extended time, he has had ever-increasing levels of responsibility during his career.
“You don’t have to have rank to be a leader,” he said.
Kevin Doyle, chief of the Pleasantview district, spoke prior to Brucki taking the oath of office, describing him as a “tremendous fire officer” and a “truly natural-born leader.”
“There is no doubt in my mind Ken will do a fine job,” Doyle said.
Brucki said he was living in Chicago’s Beverly community and working construction when he became interested in being a firefighter. He said he drove past the Merrionette Park firehouse each day on his way to work and one day stopped in to ask about volunteering.
His wife, Patti, also volunteered for the Merrionette Park department. She works as a librarian at Thornwood High School in South Holland.
Brucki and his family have long been involved with the Orland Park Pioneers and the Orland Youth Association, both youth sports organizations. Brucki was one of three finalists considered for the chief’s job. Battalion Chief Ray Kay, who for the past year had served as acting chief, was considered for the position and will resume his duties as battalion chief.
Former Chief Bryant Krizik retired last summer after being placed on administrative leave in late May 2011.