Fire Chief Koeppen Retires

Fire Chief Kenneth Koeppen Announces Retirement Effective November 15, 2018
Posted on 11/06/2018

After more than 38 service years with the Village of Arlington Heights, four serving as Fire Chief, Kenneth Koeppen has announced his retirement from the Arlington Heights Fire Department effective November 15, 2018. He was the 5th Fire Chief since the Department changed from a Volunteer Department to a full-time paid Fire Department in 1958.

Upon his retirement, Chief Koeppen will be taking on the role of Deputy Chief of Administration with the Schaumburg Fire Department.

Chief Koeppen’s extensive fire service career in Arlington Heights started in February, 1980 when he joined the Department as a Firefighter and was later promoted to Firefighter Lieutenant in 1995, followed by Battalion Chief in 1998. He then became Deputy Chief on April 15, 2005 and was named Fire Chief on March 27, 2014. Ken followed in the footsteps of his late father, Bernie, who was a former Fire Chief for Wheeling for 26 years and was with that department for over 43 years.

“Chief Koeppen’s level of commitment to the Village of Arlington Heights has been outstanding,” said Village Manager Randy Recklaus. “We are very appreciative of Ken’s service with the Village, especially for his leadership. Ken’s style was that of a team-builder who earned the trust and loyalty of his department, and the respect of his peers and the community. His expertise, reliability and impressive dedication to the Village and the Arlington Heights Fire Department has positively impacted essential services provided to our community.”

Village Manager Recklaus has appointed Deputy Chief Andrew Larson as Acting Fire Chief during the Village’s search for a permanent successor for Chief Koeppen. Deputy Chief Larson will serve in this capacity until a new Fire Chief is named following an extensive search of both internal and external candidates.

Under Chief Koeppen’s leadership, the Arlington Heights Fire Department of 110 full-time employees has provided residents and businesses with fire protection service, emergency medical services (EMS) and other rescue functions. The Department consists of four Divisions, Administrative, Fire Suppression, Emergency Medical and Training.

During his tenure as Fire Chief, Ken was instrumental in starting the Rescue Task Force project, which will train the Fire Department in addressing risks associated with active shooter incidents. Also under his leadership, the Fire Department partnered with other Village departments and outside agencies in creating C.A.R.E., the Arlington Heights Community Addiction and Recovery Effort that was introduced to the public in 2018. The goal of C.A.R.E. is to provide help beyond just emergency service in situations of a drug overdose. The Fire Department’s role as a first responder is to connect people battling addiction with experts who have the resources to help them fight their disease.