NSFD chief resigns citing health reasons

Berousek led consolidated department almost from inception

Feb. 9, 2010

North Shore Fire Department Chief David Berousek announced his resignation this week. Citing health concerns, Berousek said he would apply for a duty disability and likely complete his service in early March.

He came to the North Shore from Darien, Ill., in 1991, first serving as the deputy chief of the Brown Deer Fire Department. In August 1995 he was sworn in as the chief of the consolidated North Shore Fire Department.

With the departure of a deputy fire chief in June 2008, Berousek encouraged the Board of Directors to create two deputy positions in order to train his possible successors. Robert Whitaker and Andrew Harris now serve as deputies. The Fire Commission will name a successor for Berousek but is not bound by the succession plan.

River Hills Village President Robert Brunner, who serves as the chairman of the NSFD Board of Directors, said the commission would identify the process to replace Berousek.

"It (the commission) has the responsibility to review candidates and make appointments," Brunner said.

Fire Commission Chairman Nick Padway will hold a commission meeting before the next board meeting, held the second Tuesday of the month, Brunner said.

Brunner said Berousek leaves behind a strong record of working both with the firefighters' union, and with the seven communities that make up the department.

"He had an excellent background," Brunner said. "We are very fortunate to have him as a leader for so long."

In a phone interview, Berousek said: "It was a profound privilege to work for the seven communities. The excitement of bringing a new form of government to the area was a pleasure."

When it comes to mergers, the NSFD is the reference point for success. Brunner and Berousek have talked to other communities who were considering consolidation over the years.

"It's rewarding every time I hear people refer (positively) to what we did here," Berousek said.

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