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updated: 3/27/2014 2:42 PM

Arlington Heights promotes Koeppen to fire chief

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  • Ken Koeppen is the fifth fire chief in Arlington Heights history.

      Ken Koeppen is the fifth fire chief in Arlington Heights history.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Submitted by the Village of Arlington Heights

Ken Koeppen, a 34-year veteran of the Arlington Heights Fire Department, has been appointed Arlington Heights Fire Chief, effective immediately.

Ken Koeppen has been serving as Acting Fire Chief following the February 2014 retirement of former Chief Glenn Ericksen. Ken Koeppen has served in several leadership roles within the department, including Deputy Fire Chief since 2005, Fire Commander from 1998-2005 and Fire Lieutenant from 1995-1998.

Prior, Koeppen was a firefighter/paramedic since joining the department in 1980.

Koeppen was honored with the police department's Lifesaver Award on March 20 at the L.W. Calderwood Officer of the Year banquet. He received the award in recognition of his quick action in rendering aid to Officer Michael McEvoy, who was shot in the face during a hostage situation on Dec. 12, 2013. Koeppen was visiting family at a nearby home when he noticed flashing lights. When he ran outside to offer assistance, he saw Officer McEvoy lying unconscious on the ground.

"Ken's integrity and his leadership skills in cultivating a strong working relationship with fire department personnel as well as personnel in other village departments made him an exceptional choice as our next fire chief," Village Manager Bill Dixon said Thursday in a news release.

During his tenure, Koeppen has supervised, trained and evaluated fire department staff, implemented and managed operational procedures of the department, overseen arson investigations and responded to a variety of emergency and nonemergency situations -- fires, medical injuries and illnesses, and hazardous material spills.

As Arlington Heights' fifth fire chief since the department changed from a volunteer one to a full-time paid fire department in 1958, Koeppen will receive a salary of $135,000. Koeppen, his wife and son, live in Arlington Heights.

"I have established roots in this community and as fire chief I will constantly strive to provide the very best service to our residents," Koeppen said in the release. "I am excited about the opportunity to lead our fire department and to continue to provide the level of excellence that our residents deserve."

The Arlington Heights Fire Department consists of 110 employees and provides residents and businesses with fire protection service, emergency medical services and other rescue functions. The department consists of four Divisions -- Administrative, Fire Suppression, Emergency Medical and Training.

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