MARK PUKNAITIS Naperville Fire chief

Naperville offers the highest level of service delivery from both its fire and police departments. The Naperville Fire Department benefits the community by not only providing fire and emergency medical services but also special rescue and technical recue such as water rescue, confined space, structural collapse and response to hazardous materials incidents. They also provide a full range of public education and fire prevention services. Thank goodness the Fire Department and its Fire Chief, Mark Puknaitis, keep us safe whatever the emergency.

In 2008, Chief Puknaitis was selected as the new fire chief for the City of Naperville. His current responsibilities include the management of a 30 million dollar budget for the fifth largest fire department in the State of Illinois, and direct authority of 203 fire department personnel across ten fire stations covering a 55 square mile area. Mark has been a resident of Naperville for 21 years. He and his wife Cheryl have three children Mark , Kayte and Danny.

Mark is a 26 year veteran of fire service. He began his career with the Oak Park Fire Department in 1986 as a firefighter/paramedic; Mark was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief in 1997 responsible for overall Emergency Medical Services for the Village of Oak Park. In 1999 he was promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief where his responsibilities expanded to oversight of all the major divisions of the department which included Emergency Medical Services, Training and the Fire Prevention Bureau. He also served as the accreditation manager leading the department to its first accreditation in 1999.

He also led the EMS accreditation process through the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and ISO Class 2 grading process. Chief Puknaitis has been instrumental in accreditation forums during the past decade. He currently serves as President of the Illinois Fire Accreditation Managers (IFAM) which was formed in 1997 for the purpose of providing assistance and mentoring for fire agencies that are in the process of pursuing accreditation or have received accreditation status. Chief Puknaitis is also the Chairman of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association Accreditation Committee and has served as a technical advisor and an instructor for the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

Chief Puknaitis earned an Associates Degree in Fire Science from Triton Community College, a Bachelors Degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. Chief Puknaitis is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) from the National Fire Academy at Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Mark wants to personally welcome all the new faces and neighbors to this great city, saying “I am proud to be the Fire Chief of such a great department, dedicated to promoting safety and protecting the citizens of the city from the many risk factors associated with a large metropolitan area. It will not take you long to notice and realize that you are truly in one of the greatest cities in the Country. Not only will you have the best of what city services can offer but you will also find people that you can live and laugh with no matter the time of year.”


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