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updated: 11/12/2012 5:20 PM

Volunteer fire company elects new Glen Ellyn chief

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Rank-and-file members of the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company have selected two veteran firefighters to fill the company's top two leadership positions.

Jeff Buccola was elected chief by the 65-member fire company in a special election Friday to fill the remaining five months on the term of Pete Campbell, who resigned due to "personal reasons," according to a fire company news release on Monday.

Buccola, a 21-year firefighting veteran, is also a lieutenant for the West Chicago Fire Protection District. He had been serving as the first assistant fire chief in Glen Ellyn. He now becomes the 11th chief in the fire company's 105-year history.

Members of the fire company elected Chris Clark as the new first assistant chief. Clark became fire chief in Streamwood in June 2011.

Elections for the two positions are held annually in April, but a special election had to be scheduled after Campbell announced he was stepping down as chief.

Lt. Craig Eldridge, the fire company's spokesman, said Campbell remains with the fire company as a member "in good standing."

Campbell, who was elected chief in April 2011, hasn't discussed why he decided to resign from the company's top administrative post.

Campbell also had been serving as the company's full-time paid administrator handling day-to-day operations.

For now, members of the fire company's seven-member board of directors are splitting up the responsibilities of that position among themselves. The board is expected to name a permanent replacement in the next 30 to 90 days, Eldridge said.

"We're going to determine how we want to fill that position," Eldridge said. "There's going to be an administrator. Is it going to be full-time, part-time, or two part-timers? It could be anything."

As for the new chief and assistant chief, Eldridge said the board is going to be talking with them about the best way to handle operations of the fire company, since both are professional firefighters elsewhere.

For example, if there is a meeting of local fire officials during the daytime, Buccola or Clark may already be there, and could represent Glen Ellyn at the same time, Eldridge said.

"Chief Buccola works one day on and two days off (in West Chicago). So on a weekday when he's not in West Chicago, he's going to be in his office (in Glen Ellyn)," Eldridge said.

Buccola is expected to be sworn in at an upcoming village board meeting. Village officials have said while the village does not have a role in the selection of chief, it does appoint the fire company's pick as an executive officer of the village.

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