Thursday, June 28, 2012

Statement on Dean Milenkovic arrest:

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Statement on Dean Milenkovic arrest:

“The Orland Fire Protection District was made aware of an investigation by an out-of-state police agency regarding harmful material involving a minor via the internet, and the arrest of an employee that took place Wednesday morning,” OFPD Chief Ken Brucki said.

“We are working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office through the Orland Park Police Department to identify all the facts. Dean Milenkovic has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the investigation. I am most concerned about the integrity of the Fire District and all of our employees to ensure that the public continues to have complete confidence in our ability to provide the emergency services they expect.”

Brucki has made all of the district’s employees aware of the situation and is providing counseling to any employees distressed by this unfortunate news.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fire guts basement of home on 147th and West Avenue

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Fire guts basement of home on 147th and West Avenue

Home fire, 11:52 am; Wednesday June 27, 2012
14712 West Ave

(Chief Ken Brucki and Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi on scene)

Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi  reported the call came in at 11:52 am. There was a heavy amount of smoke and fire in the basement of the home when firefighters arrived.

The homeowner was very concerned because there were six pets in the home, five cats and one bird. Unfortunately, only two of the cats could be rescued from the fire. The homeowner was not injured.

The fire, a  Below grade (ground level), basement fire, was put under control within 15 minutes and the department cleared the home of danger within one hour of responding.

Firefighters reported there was a tremendous amount of obstacles in the corridors of the home that made it hard for firefighters to navigate inside the property.

“Our firefighters responded quickly and we were able to control the fire and cause of the heavy smoke in the home. Sadly, the fire claimed some of the homeowners pets,” Brucki said.

Firefighters from neighboring communities also responded to the fire as is traditional with communities providing support and backup.

(Photos courtesy Orland Fire Protection District)

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Fire District Recognizes four in Lake Sedgewick rescue

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Ray Hanania
June 27, 2012                                                                                     rayhanania /

Fire District Recognizes four in Lake Sedgewick rescue

OFPD, Orland Park, IL., – Four civilians were honored Tuesday by the Orland Fire Protection District Board for quick action that helped save the life on May 29 at Lake Sedgewick of a 33 year old man who officials said would “surely have drowned.”

Albert Kulicz, 21, of Bridgeview, and a friend, McKenzie Smith, 16, jumped into the water when the man started yelling for help. Friends on shore quickly called 911 for emergency assistance.

Three of Smith’s friends, also students from Carl Sandburg High school in Orland Park, Andrea Dunn, 16, and Taylor Calzaretta, 17, and Meghan Carmody, helped as Kulicz and Smith dragged the naked man from the waters onto the shore.

“All of these young men and women went above and beyond to help a person in need. Not only did they call 911, as they should, but they also immediately helped by giving the victim resuscitation support,” said OFPD Fire Chief Ken Brucki in presenting the recipients with the OFPD Citizens Life Saving Award.

“We want to thank each and every one of you for what you did. It was brave and you all did a good job.”

Four of the five rescuers were introduced to the board by OFPD Lt. Mark Duke, who said that they had acted properly and professionally, “And they did what needed to be done without any special skills or training.”

Smith was unable to attend the presentation at the Fire Board meeting but Kulicz, Dunn, Calzaretta and Carmody were all presented with Life Saving Certificates.

“It is heartwarming to know that there are individuals out there who will come to the assistance of people who are in need and in dangerous circumstances,” said OFPD Board President Jim Hickey.

The incident occurred on May 29 along Lake Sedgewick’s southern shores. Lake Sedgewick is a 95 acre lake which includes a boat ramp, boardwalk, outdoor amphitheater, gazebo, council ring, nature trails, and hiking paths.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left OFPD Board President Jim Hickey, Trustee Chris Evoy, Chief Ken Brucki, Albert Kulicz, Taylor Calzaretta, Meghan Carmody, Andrea Dunn, and Trustees Glenn Michalek, Marty McGill and Blair Rhode. Photo courtesy of Battalion Chief Dan Smith.

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OFPD Finance office recognized for financial practices

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           Ray Hanania
June 27, 2012                                                      rayhanania /

OFPD Finance office recognized for financial practices

OFPD, Orland Park, IL., – The nation’s most important financial services association awarded the Orland Fire Protection District and Financial Officer Kerry Sullivan a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Auditors with Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador & co. Ltd., of Orland Park, also presented the formal audit of the 2011 budget to the board. The audit shows the district spent $240,000 less than it collected in revenues that year.

“I think we have had a good year when it comes to paying attention to the concerns of the taxpayers of the Orland Fire Protection District,” said OFPD Board President Jim Hickey.

“We are also very proud of the achievements and hard work of our Finance Director Kerry Sullivan who has done so much to help us manage the budget and also find ways to reduce spending.”

Hickey noted the board this year held the line on the budget, preventing it from increasing by more than $1.6 million, while also reducing planned spending this year by more than $1 million.

“In the end, taxpayers will have saved almost $3 million in our budget this year and last year. This is the first year in five years that our budget is under $30 million and that is significant,” Hickey said.

Fire Chief Ken Brucki also praised Sullivan, noting, "Kerry is a very valuable employee demonstrating a level of professionalism I have observed District wide from our employees.  She has managed a very professional business model that has been adapted to the operations of a fire district.  I congratulate her and all our staff on a job well done."

The award recognition by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)  is the third consecutive annual citation that the OFPD and Sullivan has received.

“I know that I speak for the entire board and fire district when I congratulate Kerry Sullivan for her work,” said Trustee Marty McGill.

“I too want to express my gratitude for the professionalism and hard work that Kerry Sullivan has put in to this process,” said Trustee Chris Evoy. “We worked very hard to reduce spending and she has proven to be an invaluable asset to our district.”

Sullivan said that the audit shows that the budget for 2011 ended with a surplus of $240,000.

“We ended the year with a $240,000 positive balance between revenues and expenditures and in today’s economy, that is very significant,” Sullivan said.

The audit shows that the district spent about $2.6 million more than what was budget, she explained, but said that it included $3 million that was collected in 2007 and spend on the completion of the Fire District’s new administration building.

“Essentially, we had the $3 million in the bank to pay for the completion but it is factored into the audit. If you exclude that money, which we already collected, then you see that revenues exceeded expenditures by $240,000,” Kerry explained.

The Administration building, 9790 W. 151st Street, was formally completed and officially opened in 2011.

In presenting the audit to the board, the auditors also noted that the Orland Fire Protection District pension fund is 76 percent funded. A government mandate requires that the pension fund by 90 percent funded by the year 2040.

The award is one of the highest forms of recognition a governmental body can receive in the area of accounting and financial reporting.  The District’s Finance Director Kerry Sullivan will receive the plaque which is expected to arrive in approximately eight weeks.  At that time, the Board of Trustees will make a formal presentation to Ms. Sullivan.

Sullivan has been with the district since 1997 serving as Finance Director. Prior to that she worked at McNeal Hospital as a budget manager, and previously worked as KPMG, a national accounting firm.

Sullivan lives in Orland Park with her two sons, Billy, 15, and Jack, 11.

For more information, please visit our website at

The 2011 OFPD Audit will also be placed online for public review.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ken Brucki sworn in as new Orland Fire Protection District Chief Chief Brucki's presentation at swearing in ceremony

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Ken Brucki sworn in as new Orland Fire Protection District Chief
Chief Brucki's presentation at swearing in ceremony

(Photos below. Right click to download)

Good Evening.

The first thing I’d like to do is acknowledge everyone who chose to be here tonight.  I hope in the next few days or weeks to thank you personally for your part in making this transition possible.  

And I’d like to publicly thank:

The Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees, for your faith and confidence in giving me the opportunity to serve as your Chief Administrator.  I will not let you down.

Battalion Chief Ray Kay, for your dedication to the District and your efforts in directing the District during this transitional period.  Ray will continue with Administrative duties under my command.

Politicians: Mayor McLaughlin, Mayor Hastings, Commissioner Gorman, (list out others that may show)

Pleasantview Board of Trustees and Chief Kevin Doyle for your guidance and showing me what a first rate organization is run like.

Most Especially the Pleasantview Fire Protection District and all its members.  I have made lifelong friends and will always think ofPleasantview as the finest fire organization, until just recently (pause) now they’re the 2ndfinest.

Many people here, especially the press may be wondering what Orland got when they chose to hire me.

I started as a volunteer firefighter at MarionettePark.  I was fascinated at the prospect of being a fireman.  I began taking classes and accepting any new challenge presented before me.  

I went on to become a paramedic through Christ hospital and took on more challenge working for a private ambulance company to gain more experience.  Still I could not satisfy my desire for more challenge and experience so I pursued a part time position with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District.  Taking even more classes and continuing to build knowledge and gain experience.

I kept running into the same problem…I didn’t know enough…So I went back to school, getting myassociates degree in fire science from Moraine Valley, I continued on a formal education path by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in fire science management from SIU, As my administrative duties grew, I accepted one more challenge and completed a Master’s degree through Illinois Benedictine University in Organizational Behavior and Organizational Development.  A degree that will serve me well as I accept this new position.

Thankfully I was blessed with a full time position with the Pleasantview Fire Protection District.  I will be eternally grateful to the fine personnel I had the honor to serve with while developing in my career.  Pleasantview encouraged continued education and facilitation at the department.  

I was able to work in the division of training and continue to master techniques and pass along some of the knowledge, skills and abilities I had developed over the years.  I learned from and continued to work with one of the finest Fireman I have ever met, Captain Mike Grazian thank you.

My work as an instructor opened the door for many new opportunities.  I became an instructor for the Fire Service Institute at University of Illinois.  I worked in many different fire and rescue programs.  Two achievements I am very proud of was the opportunity to work alongside legendary leaders in the fire service and help develop the curriculum for the “Saving Our Own” program and building the Structural Collapse program from the ground up.  Both programs have helped shape firefighters on a national level and are instrumental in firefighter safety.

I was selected to serve as the rescue coordinator for the Southwest United Fire Districts.  During its time the SUFD Academy was one of the finest in the state and also allowed me to work with many members of the Orland Fire District.

Another accomplishment over the years was the ability to serve on several ADHOC committees established through the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  The ADHOC committees are responsible for establishing the job performance requirements in the various disciplines in the fire service.  I was selected to chair several ADHOC committees over the years that eventually lead to the appointment of Chairman of the Advisory Board.  I was now in charge of overseeing the work done by all ADHOC committees.  I was appointed to be the testing administrator through the offices of the state fire marshal.  In that position I was responsible for writing, developing and validating the curriculum for every certification program in the state of Illinois.


And yes most of my leadership and instructor’s success was achieved while serving in the rank of firefighter---leadership happens at every level of the fire service---you don’t have to have a rank to be a leader.  This is a quality I hope to nurture here inOrland because I recognize that at any given moment any of our personnel can be called upon to leadthrough character, skill, or knowledge.

This brings me to our vision for this district:  Our largest responsibility is maintaining the safety of thepersonnel who work for this district while providing the best possible response to the public safety needs. My job is to look at the big picture and prepare for the great, “Anything can happen”.  It is often difficult for the general public to understand this type of preparation.  However, anybody sitting out there who has ever put on this uniform and laced up a pair of boots knows that anything CAN HAPPEN…and it usually does.  

I see that as one of our basic principles for training.  This principle isn’t that we can prepare ourselves for any situation.  It’s a principle designed to establish an excellent foundation for ongoing skill development through training and trust.

As I say goodbye to one family, I am welcomed in another.  I will work every day with my heart and soul to build relationships and earn the trust of every single individual who serves the Orland Fire District.

If you see me in the community you’ll know I am:

Family oriented

Faith filled

Fair, but firm

Dedicated and loyal

I am a Fireman

And Lord Knows, I got get this clear right now…a Cub’s fan.

Thank your family (remember the moms and dads)
I would like to Thank:

Friends for your support


Grandmother Marie Badke

In-Laws Tom and Barb Trusk

Parents Jack Brucki and Sadie Walker

Children Jesselyn, Christian, and Patrick for constantly reminding how beautiful this world is

Patti- my soul mate and savior. By far the greatest human being I have ever had the privilege to meet and I am grateful every single day that she would have me.

Photos courtesy of Gerardo Lopez for the Orland Fire Protection District