After 30 years in Northbrook, Brogan returns to start
Deputy Chief Bob Brogan | Courtesy of Northbrook Fire Department
Updated: August 6, 2012 11:25AM
NORTHBROOK — After 30 years at Northbrook’s fire department, Deputy Chief of Operations Bob Brogan is going back to where he started his career.
He has accepted the same position at the Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District, protecting Sleepy Hollow and neighboring Gilberts.
Sleepy Hollow is not only where Brogan grew up, but also where he and his wife, Cindy, raised two children, Jason, 28 and Kelsey, 24. And where he still lives now.
Brogan became a volunteer firefighter with the Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District right after he graduated from high school.
He served the district from 1976 to 1985, then signed on with Northbrook in 1982, spending some of those years working for both.
“When I decided I wanted to be a firefighter as a career, I learned how extremely competitive getting the job was. So I took out a phonebook and started calling around to see if villages were hiring and when the test would be,” Brogan said.
“It was my good fortune to have called Northbrook and talked to a secretary who said she would send me a postcard when the test was scheduled. And she did.”
Brogan, who was already a firefighter/paramedic by then, took the test and was hired. And during the decades he served Northbrook, he rose steadily through the ranks to lieutenant, captain, then district chief.
“There has been no gray area working with the Northbrook firefighters, police or public works staff. They are truly wonderful people,” Brogan said.
“I’m one of the few guys in the world who has never gotten out of bed not wanting to go to work. My work has always been very rewarding.”
Brogan noted that he also has had the opportunity to meet some “truly awesome” people in the village, which has not only made him a better person , but also made him a better firefighter.
“Whenever I think of these people in the village, I get a really good feeling. At the end of the work day, they thank you for what you’re doing, as well as paying you for it. And we’re well provided for,” he said.
“But I’m 55, so I can take early retirement here. I’m leaving Aug. 3. I work hard and play hard, and there will be less stress with this job – a point to be made in my heart and for my family.”
Brogan said he anticipated joining the fire protection district maybe in the next three years, and it was a shock to both him and his wife when the district reached out to him now.
He won’t be making as much money as he does now, since the district has only one-fifth the calls Northbrook does and a small budget nowhere near Northbrook’s budget, Brogan said.
“It’s not about the money. All I was concerned about was what I could bring to the table. I bring a lot of experience, but humbly so. They’ve got a good system in place,” Brogan said.
He said he was “truly blessed” when he picked up the phone book, and made it on Northbrook’s firefighter hiring list.
“I’ll miss the people and the relationships I’ve made, but it has been a phenomenal 30 years here. I have a strong faith in Christ and just want to be known as the man who walks the talk.”
Fire Chief Mark Nolan said that the department will miss him, too.
“Bob is a great guy and a good friend. He has always done his best for the department and the village,” Nolan said. “I wish him well in his new opportunities and I’m sure he will do well there too.”