Pleasantview Fire Lieutenant Named Orland Chief

Ken Brucki, who has worked for the Pleasantview Fire Protection District since 1994, was named chief of the Orland Fire Protection District after a yearlong search.

Pleasantview Fire Lt. Ken Brucki, 44, of Orland Park will serve as the new full time chief of the Orland Fire Protection District.

The hire was announced Thursday afternoon, two days after the board approved a contract to present to Brucki. He started his career as a volunteer firefighter for Merrionette Park in 1988, before joining part time with Darien-Woodridge. Brucki then was hired full time with the Pleasantview Fire Protection District in 1994, where he remained until now. He was promoted to lieutenant in June 2011. 

“I think the Orland Fire Protection District has so many dedicated firefighters and employees who I know want to focus their attentions, skills and professionalism on what they do best, providing the highest quality fire service and professional public safety for the people of the district,” Brucki said in a release from the Orland district. “I am not here to focus on anything else. I recognize the great esteem that the district’s firefighters have for their uniforms and what their uniforms represent.”

Brucki further said in the release that he is “honored and appreciative” to join Orland. His salary will be $150,000, according to the Orland Fire Protection District.

Messages for Brucki and other Pleasantview Fire personnel were not immediately returned Thursday.

Brucki’s hiring brings a yearlong search for a new full time chief to an end, following Bryant Krizik’s leveraged retirement after a .

served as acting chief during the search, and also was a final candidate for the full time position.

“At the request of the board, it was an honor to serve as Acting Fire Chief this past year,” Kay said in the release.  “I am proud of the many accomplishments the administration was able to achieve during this transitional period.  I intend to work closely with the new chief to ensure a seamless transfer of authority, succession.”

Brucki is a 12-year Orland Park resident and has volunteered as a youth coach for baseball and football leagues locally. He is father to three children; a son at Orland Junior High, another son at Carl Sandburg High School and a daughter at St. Francis University in Joliet.

Orland Fire Board President James Hickey described Brucki in the release as a “a no BS kind of person who will make fire service his number one priority.”

Sign up for Orland Park Patch breaking news alerts and follow us on Facebook 

Looking for more Orland Fire Protection District stories?

Kathie May 25, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Why do we choose to look for the worst in people? Brucki is the NEW Chief. Let's give him a chance to show what he can do.
SGT Moore May 25, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Mr Blah Blah Blah get your facts straight. I checked and this guy has never, never , ever given Gorman a dime. If you check voter volt he is a hard core DEMOCRTAT. This guy was and is a MCLAUGHLIN supporter. Gormans guy was the temp RAY KAY who didn't have the votes. MCLAUGHLIN got this guy made....Plain and simple
Madlene May 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM
A Lt. from a small department to chief of a large fire protection district? That is like the bagger at jewel becoming the CEO! This just reeks of a politcal hiring. I hope he can earn the respect of a department who the majority have far more experience than he does. This poor guy has been bought and will be chewed up and spit out by the politics of this town. I am disgusted.
Ann Bresingham May 25, 2012 at 12:31 PM
It is disappointing when comments are made out of ignorance and a lack of knowledge. Orland Park is moving in the right direction...Congratulations to our new Chief!
Carol May 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Congratulations and best of luck to you in your new job.
PR May 25, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Evidently you don't know Ken Brucki... I have never met a more dedicated firefighter, educationally or emotionally. He is, and always has been, an independent, stand-up man with a passion for excellence in himself, and his department. The people of Orland Park should be proud to have him as their chief.
Capt AV May 25, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Taking politics and personal agendas out of the picture, someone needs to consider the responsibilities that come with the fire chief’s position. Looking at it from that perspective should make every citizen served by the fire district very concerned with the actions and choices exercised by the Board. This Board clearly does not have the citizen’s best interests at the forefront of their mission. No personal attack is meant towards the new Chief. Everyone absolutely deserves a chance to prove themselves but that chance must be deserved as well as earned. The individual named as Chief is being set up for failure. It is not valid in any way to say that this individual is the most qualified candidate to lead this department after a nationwide search. If reading correctly, the new Chief’s fire service leadership experience peaks at leading a crew of 3 to 5 firefighters within one fire station during a 24 hour shift. Does this truly qualify him to lead a department of 154 on a daily basis and manage a budget that is near 30 million dollars? How prepared is this individual to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement from the side of management when he has never been in a position to do so on a smaller scale? More in the continuation of this post.
Capt AV May 25, 2012 at 02:07 PM
In addition, but most important, how can he be expected to successfully manage large scale emergency incident scenes when he has not ever had the responsibility to manage one that involved more than 1 to 5 fire companies at the most? Is this the individual that we want making decisions for the community and integrating with other community leaders in the emergency operations center during a large scale disaster such as a tornado? The foundation to operate on this level has not been established. On the job training is a wonderful thing but it should not be done at the expense of the safety of my family or the men and women that serve the district. There are serious responsibilities that come with the position of Fire Chief- does this individual as well as the members of the Board even realize this? The statements made can not be refuted; members of this Board have failed time and time again and have made the District look like a three ring circus. What a disservice to the members of this department as well as the community. It is a shame that the citizens of the District do not fully understand what is taking place. I am certain that many more questions will be asked by others and rightfully so. The taxpayers of Orland Park should be very concerned about this matter.
frank May 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
To say that this drawn out, highly selective, and nation wide search for a Fire Chief is non political is an insult to COMMON SENSE! Again, we have been dumped upon. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Regina Knapp May 25, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Congratulations, Chief Brucki!
PatriotCitizen May 25, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Alan, I think you are missing the point. No one is condemning the new Chief - just the process. Your comment could be used for all the candidates. I want to see the list of candidates and see if this new chief has more experience than the rest. Without question - I know for a fact the new Chief doesn't have more experience than the current interim Chief Ray Kay.
Madlene May 25, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I am sure he is a very nice fellow. I would like to more about his credentials other than a great Pioneer Football Coach. I would like to hear more about his skills and experience as a leader, a financial manager, a contract negotiator. Any major accomplishments? Any proven track record other than a Pioneer Football coach? I just dont see a department and budget of this size as a training ground.
Adam West May 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
And the beat goes on!!!
TC May 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Ken is a outstanding firemen. I personally know how much of a pleasure it is to work with him. He was very involved in the training and saftey at PLVW. Ken is extremely professional and dedicated to the fire service. He would make an outstanding addition to Orland Park. Congrats Kenny!
iceman63 May 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM
If "everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves..." why not try giving him the chance to earn it? It is undrstandable to question his experience, however, when the job was posted, did the requirements demand his experience to include that he had to be in charge of a particular number of people, work [so many] shifts and put out a minimum number of fires? Many people rose up to success without experince; Billionaire youth and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg grew up as a relatively normal kid with no way of knowing how much impact he would have in the world. For Steve Jobs, it was creating the most basic computer software and devices out of a garage during his youth. Warren Buffet grew up in a tumultuous time in Nebraska amid the Great Depression. Heck, even Al Copeland, founder of Popeye’s Chicken, had a humble beginning with his family living at one point, in the St. Thomas public housing project. As far as managing a budget, yes, it is very important, is there evidence that he isn't able to follow a budget? A smart operator surrounds himself with people who can give good advice. Because we all saw how the "more experienced," chief(s) kept a budget in the past, right? If given a chance, Chief Brucki will get experience, and earn peoples' trust. He is coming in, knowing things have escalated into a mess. We are hopeful that he will listen to all sides and make sound decisions that are best for his men and for Orland.
MA May 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM
MA lets not forget why we had to look for a new Chief and not good ideal for the one who was in while search so something new surely can't be as much as a problem as something old so chief Brucki chance as for couching this shows town participation with a heart and some times we need some one with pride in were they live and I think we can count that for him I wish you all best Congratulation Chief Brucki
Capt AV May 27, 2012 at 04:07 AM
What a sad situation that the comments being made here are centered on what a "great guy" this new fire chief is and "give him a chance". See my previous posts- the fire chief position is not a popularity contest. The analogy of going from bagger to CEO at the Jewel is a little extreme but not that far off. People's lives and welfare depend on decisions made by this individual. Get your head out of the sand people, put the politics aside and learn a little about the role of the fire chief, this guy does not have the tools that are required for the job at this point of his career. The fire department and pee wee football don't have much in common.
frank May 27, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Agree with you Capt AV. But, as Hickey has stated, the new Chief will not put up with any BS like what we have had to endure. FOI suits may bring some light to the subject. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John Rodgers May 28, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Nothing against, Brucki, but, if I'm not mistaken, he has a whopping 1 yr of experience as a line LT in Pleasentview. You don't go from one year as a line officer to leading an entire department of 150+. Who cares if he is "no BS", he lacks experience to do the job!!! There were other, much more qualified candidates. Why was this man hired? It should concern every taxpayer of the district, period. Lack of experience, equals lack of ability to do the job! Firefighting isn't a job where you just come in and learn "on the job" when you are in charge... You just don't, "give him a chance", there are lives at stake.. I hope it's none of yours that are thinking he is a "great guy".. A "great guy" doesn't equal a qualified leader... Period..
frank May 28, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I agree with you John Rodgers. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
PatriotCitizen June 03, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I agree also...
frank June 04, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I wonder if anyone read the article in the Orland Prarie newspaper last week about our new fire chief. I wonder where they got his resume? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something