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Kopec to be named Flossmoor fire chief

At Monday’s village board meeting, Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun will appoint Robert Kopec as  the village’s next fire chief. The village board is expected to approve the appointment.

Kopec will begin his new position April 5. He will take over from Interim Fire Chief Greg Berk, who has served since former chief Chris Sewell retired in January 2020.

Kopec was selected from a competitive pool of candidates following a recruitment process by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. He joins the Flossmoor Fire Department after serving as deputy fire chief and fire chief for seven years with the Country Club Hills Fire Department.

“Robert Kopec comes to us with more than 20 years in fire service and an impressive resume,” said Braun. “He proved to be the top candidate and will be a valuable asset to the Village of Flossmoor. He left myself and the village trustees with little question that he will be an excellent fit as Flossmoor’s fire chief.”


Prior to serving as fire chief for the Country Club Hills Fire Department, Kopec held a number of roles, including deputy chief and captain with the Beecher Fire Protection District, as well as experience with the Markham Fire Department, Harvey Fire Department and the Thornton Fire Department. 

Kopec holds a chief fire officer certification from the Illinois State Fire Marshal Office, an associate’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University and an emergency medical technician license from South Suburban College. He also holds a number of professional certifications, including a firefighter III certification, hazardous materials training, fire service instructor and a number of others.

As a career fire service member, Kopec has served in a number of different department settings, but one thing he looks forward to in joining the Flossmoor Fire Department is the balance of volunteer firefighters, part-time firefighters and full-time firefighters in the department.

“One of the things that intrigued me most about Flossmoor is that it’s a combination department and I really like that style of department,” said Kopec. “As a combination department, we can introduce cadet programs and train and hire the next generation of firefighters right in house. It is a department that we can bring a young person on-board and guide them through the entire process, starting with cadet to volunteer to paid on-call. The ultimate goal is to hire them on a part-time or full-time basis. Unfortunately, not many career departments have that opportunity.”

Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said:  “Bob Kopec stood out among a plethora of strong
candidates based on his nearly two decades of experience, but also because of the energy and new ideas he’s interested in bringing to the Village of Flossmoor.” 

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