Deputy fire chief hired

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Illinois man brings 30 years of experience to the vacancy

By Carol A. Clark

Patrick Sleik is the new deputy fire chief for Los Alamos County. Fire Chief Doug Tucker describes Sleik as a highly effective fire service leader with 30 years of distinguished service.

“It takes a very special person to fit into our organization because of its unique multi-disciplined, multi-dimensional  mission of providing fire, rescue, emergency medical, public education and life safety services to the citizens and visitors of Los Alamos County and the protection of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the extensive urban wild land region,” Tucker said. “Patrick had that vision and that spark we were looking for and has the passion for the fire service and the desire and ability to make a difference in our organization and for the customers we serve.”

Sleik, 48, joined the Naperville Fire Department in Illinois in 1980. He ascended through the ranks from a firefighter to a firefighter/paramedic, station commander, lieutenant, training officer, chief of training and ultimately to battalion chief.

“Coming to Los Alamos has provided me the opportunity to step up to the next level in a lifelong career fire service goal, to become an executive fire officer in a highly professional, well trained fire department,” Sleik said.

One of the highlights of his career, he said, was working with his crew as an engine officer and saving the life of a 17-year-old boy. The men of his crew were awarded the Unit Performance Award for their effort.

Sleik officially retired as a battalion chief of the Naperville Fire Department on May 3, which is the same day he began working at LAFD.

Change and new environments are nothing new to Sleik. Born in Milwaukee, he has lived in Ohio, New York, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois and now resides in Los Alamos.   

Sleik has been married to his wife Susan for 23 years. Susan has a bachelor’s of science degree in registered nursing from Purdue University. They live on the hill with their cat Smokey, which Sleik rescued in a fire in Illinois and 8-month-old Emma, a Border collie mix, which they recently rescued from the Los Alamos Animal Shelter.

The couple’s oldest son, Kyle, 21, is currently a senior at Purdue University. Their second son, Brandon, 19, is a sophomore at the University of Iowa and their youngest son, Bryan, 16, is a junior at Naperville North High School where Sleik said his son’s first love is football. Bryan plays quarterback and was scheduled to meet today with the Los Alamos High School football coach to determine which team he’ll play for, Sleik said.

“One of my big interests is to become really involved in the community other than through my job,” he said. “I was just elected vice president of the LAHS Booster Club and I want to help drum up support for our football team and for our new coach. It would mean a lot to me if our community would really support our football team.”

Sleik holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management/Administration from DePaul University in Chicago and an associate’s degree in Fire Service Technology from the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Sleik’s fire service certifications include:

•Fire Officer I, II, III;

•Training program manager;

•Fire service instructor I, II, III;

•Incident safety officer (nationally certified);

•National fire academy educated;

•Emergency management institute (EMI) graduate at National Fire Academy;

•National Incident Management System (NIMS) certified;

•Currently enrolled at the National Fire Academy in the Executive Fire Officers program; and

•State of Illinois certified assessment center instructor and proctor.

As deputy chief, Sleik is second in command over six fire stations with 150 budgeted positions and 130 shift firefighters including three shift battalion chiefs, nine chief and staff officers and

11 civilian support staff.

His annual salary is $108,623.