Professional of the Year - Government/Fire and Emergency Services

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Michael Louis Kuk

Title: Senior Fire Chief
Industry: Government
Type of Organization: Department of Defense/U.S. Army
Major Product/Service: Defense
Expertise: Dr. Kuk is a highly trained Certified Firefighter and Chief Officer with over 47 years of experience in fire service including 36 years as a Fire Chief. He also serves as the Directorate of Emergency Services Chaplain at Fort Polk. He is a Guest Instructor at various schools and organizations and has been a published author since 1974. In his off duty time, Dr, Kuk serves as Chief Fire Chaplain for the Vernon Parish Fire Protection District. He is an Ordained Minister, Master Musician and Diplomat.
Geographic Area of Distribution: International
Affiliations: International Association of Fire Chiefs; President, Southwest Louisiana Mutual Aid Association; Board of Directors, Stitzlein Firefighter Training Center; Louisiana Fire Chiefs and Firemen's Association; Founder, Chair, Federal Firefighters Memorial Committee and Federal Fire Chaplain; Charter Board Member, Louisiana Fire Chaplains Network; Chair, CBRNE Working Group; Fellow, American Board for Certification of Homeland Security; Full Member, Fire Engineers of Great Britain
University/Degree: Ph.D., Doctor of Ministry, Chaplain, Byzantine Catholic
Born: January 11, 1949, Clinton, Iowa
Hobbies/Sports: Musician (keyboards), collecting fire memorabilia
Work History: A Vietnam War Veteran, Dr. Kuk directed a 21- man detail of Army firefighters, served as Crew Chief and then Station Chief for the U.S. Army Firefighters' USARV Detachment at Long Binh during 1970-1971. Joining the City of Clinton Iowa Fire Department, he served as a Truckman, Tillerman and was one of the departments first EMT's. Dr. Kuk held a chemical fire safety position in Lake Charles, Louisiana at OLIN Chemicals and was the Chief of Ward 1 Fire Protection District in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. He also served as a Fire Chief for PPG Industries in Westlake, Louisiana and was the last Fire Chief at the Savanna Army Depot in Illinois. He transferred in 2000 to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as Chief of Training and has held the position of Fire Chief in Fort Polk, Louisiana since 2004.
Honors & Awards: Numerous honors and awards including: Awarded title of Chief Fire Officer by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in 2004; Certified in Homeland Security Level V by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute; Recipient of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois Honor Guard Medal, 1999; U.S. Army Civilian Firefighter of the Year, 1998; Army Material Command Firefighter of the Year, 1998; Medal of Honor Certificate, Illinois State Fire Marshal, 1998; Two Awards, Army Ideas for Excellence Program, 1998; Originator of the Green Light for Incident Command, 1976; First Inductee, U.S. Army Fire Chiefs Hall of Fame, 2009; Inductee, Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame with his band "Union Jacks", 2006
Published Works: 100+ peer-reviewed articles;18 booklets and manuals; 8 inventions; Guest speaker at many notable venues; Internationally recognized author regarding the Roman Fire Service
Career Accomplishments: Dr. Kuk has commanded fireground disasters involving military, municipal, marine, industrial, wildland, aviation, hazardous materials incidents and weapons of mass destruction. He is widely recognized as an international author of technical, historical and inspirational articles and books and is known throughout the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services as a Master Musician. Dr. Kuk is recognized as the world authority on Roman firefighters and writes extensively about Federal and DOD firefighting subjects. He is a Federal Fire Chaplain, and served as a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Combat Firefighter from 1969 to 1971. Currently, Dr. Kuk is a Diplomat for Homeland Security. He has developed extensive guidelines and publications for the conduction of firefighter weddings, funerals, honor ceremonies and memorial events. As a lifelong Master Musician, he has performed at major firefighter ceremonies throughout the nation. While directing the daily activities of both civilian and military firefighters, he still provides spiritual direction to firefighters and allied emergency first responders internationally.