Ready to lead


Steve Stapleton, who joined the Villa Park Fire Department more than 25 years ago, was recently named the village’s fire chief. Stapleton had been Villa Park’s interim fire chief since Chief Ron Rakosnik retired in October 2022. Stapleton began his career in Villa Park in 1997, when he joined the department as a firefighter/paramedic. He was promoted to lieutenant in in 2004. In 2010, he was promoted to deputy chief. Stapleton, who is pictured at Villa Park Fire Station 81 at 1440 S. Ardmore Avenue, did not automatically earn the position of Villa Park’s fire chief after Rakosnik’s retirement. He joined about 20 others in applying for the job. Stapleton went through a testing and interview process before Villa Park Village Manager Matthew Harline appointed him as the village’s fire chief. “We’re not a huge department, but we have a family atmosphere, and we do a pretty great job,” said Stapleton. “I would trust my life with any of the members of this department.”