Mount Prospect turns to deep bench for fire department promotions

  • Mount Prospect Fire Department Deputy Chief Tom Wang with wife, Nicole.

    Mount Prospect Fire Department Deputy Chief Tom Wang with wife, Nicole. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

 
Posted6/24/2021 6:00 AM

Mount Prospect is known for having a deep bench in its public safety corps.

That was proved again in the recent promotion of John Dolan to fire chief, as well the elevations of Tom Wang to deputy chief and Bradley Bocox to lieutenant.

 

"I'm very excited about these two individuals," Dolan said.

Wang, an 18-year veteran, has a good rapport with the firefighters and is expected to work hard on their behalf, Dolan said.

"He has built a really solid relationship with the guys," he added.

A Hoffman Estates native, Wang describes himself as a late bloomer. Prior to joining the fire service, he worked as a ranger at Yellowstone National Park.

"9/11 happened, and I saw the respect that firemen got" and became inspired to join the fire service, he said.

Wang, who lives in Arlington Heights, has made a significant impact off-duty as an assistant soccer coach at Harper College. A player during his days at Valparaiso University, he is in his 19th season at Harper.

"I think they were more excited that I was going to be there every day," Wang said of his players' reaction to his promotion. "Before, when I was on shift, I would miss once or twice a week."

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Having more of a desk role will require a bit of an adjustment. "I still kind of twitch a little bit when the calls come out."

Mount Prospect Fire Lt. Bradley Bocox with his wife, Heather, and their children, Mila, 5, and Lila, 3.
Mount Prospect Fire Lt. Bradley Bocox with his wife, Heather, and their children, Mila, 5, and Lila, 3. - Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

Bocox, who as a member of the department's apparatus committee was tasked with designing complex vehicles, has 18 years experience and recently completed his master's degree in public safety.

He said his new role is important, not only providing a leadership within the department, but also in the community and "representing the service that we provide to them."

Bocox, who grew up in Lake Villa, started off in his hometown as a volunteer firefighter.

"I actually had no interest in this," he said of is start in the fire service. "My father had known a couple of gentlemen that were on the volunteer fire department. They had a work night. I had gone down there on one of those nights and got interested in it."

He said the part of the job he likes most is helping the community.

"Everybody's emergency is a little bit different, and it's nice to see those smiles on their faces when they get that gratitude for us coming out and helping them," he said.

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