Matt Duzak, Bridgeview’s newest fire lieutenant, was sworn in by Mayor Steve Landek on Aug. 3. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Matt Duzak, Bridgeview’s newest fire lieutenant, was sworn in by Mayor Steve Landek on Aug. 3. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘A fine man’ is newest fire lieutenant in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch

Matt Duzak wanted to be a firefighter since he was a young boy.

In his adult life, he drove trucks around the Chicago area for a living, working with his father-in-law.

But that old desire to fight fires never disappeared.

After a stint with the Roberts Park Fire Protection District in Justice as a paid-on-call firefighter, Duzak joined the Bridgeview Fire Department nearly 17 years ago.

And after the Aug. 3 meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board, he is now officially a lieutenant. Mayor Steve Landek administered the oath of office to Duzak.

“He’s a fine man, a resident of Bridgeview. We’re always happy to see that,” Landek said.

Landek joked that Duzak – no matter the social setting – should always be referred to by his rank.

“Even when he goes home. Remember that. Lieutenant son-in-law,” Landek said with a smile.

Duzak, who was appointed to the job in October, is pleased the wait has ended. He was all smiles posing for photographs with village officials, firefighters, friends and family.

“Proud. Happy. Honored,” Duzak, 50, said.

Being a firefighter is all about “honor, tradition, serving the public,” he said.

“It’s something I wanted to do since I was 3 years old,” he said.

Why did it take so long to for him realize that dream?

“Back then, it wasn’t as easy to get on departments as it is now. You’d get 500, 600 people testing for one or two positions. … Finally, I was able to make it on (the department),” he said.

Duzak and wife Sheryl moved to Bridgeview 26 years ago. They have two children and a 6-month-old grandson.

Village Trustee Patricia Higginson, who oversees the fire department, was pleased to watch Duzak take the oath of office.

“When we had events at the community center, take blood pressure, he’d go above and beyond for the seniors,” Higginson said. “A wonderful guy. So well-deserved. Absolutely.”

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