It is never easy to announce the retirement of someone in the fire service. As much a pleasure it is to see someone be able to spend more time pursuing their interests with their family at the end of a long and fantastic career, it is difficult to say good bye to a Brother, a person who we as members of the Norwood Park Fire Protection District have spent a third of our grown lives with.


After 28 years with us, we leave the coffee pot on and an open door for our own Deputy Chief John Kovalcik. John was hired in 1987 and worked hard on a variety of department teams for the first part of his career, from taking charge of the Honor Guard, fighting fires, and being a part of local history as it was being built (like touring the Deep Tunnel project). Rising to the rank of Lieutenant in 1999, he became a mentor and friend to all the firefighters working with him and worked in the Fire Prevention Bureau to ensure the safety of the community in new and existing buildings. His skills and education in rescue allowed him to take part in the multi-state, multi division response to New Orleans after Hurricane Katerina struck in 2005.

For the next ten years afterwards, John served his firehouse as the Deputy Chief, managing all grant and training in addition to the job responsibilities. His contribution to both the community and the fire service at large will continue long past his time with us. Thank You John, for everything you have given us over the years!