The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Firefighters of 6410 S. Dante

Jack Breakey ’24
As long as MC has been open, alumni have been there around the City of Chicago to save lives.

Ask any firefighter about their job, and the same line will be brought up: “The greatest job in the world.”

With the Chicago Fire Department being the second largest department in the US and one of the largest employers in the city, it’s guaranteed to meet at least one Mount Carmel graduate. From the frontline ranks to even Chiefs in headquarters, they’re always looking out for each other. 

Steve Bouck ’91, Tom Breakey ’82, and Timothy Moran ’61 are men who are rare in the world with their experience, dedication, and even sacrifice. 

Battalion Chief Steve Bouck ’91 is currently assigned to 5th District Relief, which covers firefighters on the South Side who are not working that day. 

Bouck grew up around Marquette Park and played football and baseball at MC. During his time on the football team, they won the IHSA state championship back-to-back in the 1989 and 1990 seasons. After college, he worked for the Board of Trade before joining the CFD in 1997.

Chief Steve Bouck ’91 (right) congratulates recently promoted Lieutenant Devin Sullivan ’03. (Steve Bouck ’91)

“I didn’t have any family involved [with the CFD], but it was something I always looked at as an option after school,” said Bouck.

After passing the academy and becoming a Candidate, he was assigned to Engine Company 77, a pumper tasked with fire suppression, located on the West Side. He was with the company for a year until the 77 was disbanded. After his candidacy, he was assigned to Engine 39 before being assigned to Engine 101 on 69th and Bell Ave.

“They made the transition easy,” said Bouck, “With the connection to MC, [alumni in the CFD] knew the type of person you were and wanted to look out for you.”

He quickly knew how comparable the CFD was to his time at MC. The diversity between the two organizations is very similar, and there is always someone who sticks out and is unique. 

The community and brotherhood of the job are also unique, just like MC.

“The job is another family,” said Bouck.

In 2010, Bouck was a part of the Chicago Fire Blaze football team where he played for several years. In 2014, the team went on to win the National Public Safety Football League Championship. Following the championship, Bouck took over as head coach in 2015. 

The team plays fellow first responders across the nation, such as the FDNY Bravest, Dallas Defenders, and even their rival Chicago Police Enforcers. During the COVID pandemic, Bouck stepped down as the head coach.

During his time with Engine 101, he worked around his childhood home in Marquette Park. At House of Bells, he befriended his engineer, Tom Breakey.

Breakey is a 27-year-old veteran of the CFD, and at 59, he’s been knocking out fires on the South Side for his whole career. He’s also a father of three current MC students: Emmett ’27, Patrick ’26, and Jack ’24.

Like Bouck, MC directly didn’t influence him to join the department, but a lot of coaches were firefighters, and friends’ parents were also on the job. 

Breakey started working on March 4th, 1997, being a candidate at Engine 88 then being promoted to Firefighter and assigned to Truck 50, a company tasked with search and rescue, and ventilation of smoke, on 81st and Ashland Ave. He would spend nearly a decade with

Lieutenant Tom Breakey ’82 stands victoriously with a fish after knocking out a fire at the famous Calumet Fisheries. (Engine 46, Truck 17, Amb 9 Facebook)

Truck 50. During that time at Truck 50, he would travel to New York after the September 11th Attacks where he attended funerals of the fallen New York firefighters. 


He was promoted to Engineer and was assigned to Engine 101 where Bouck acted as his Lieutenant. Just in 2020, Breakey was promoted to Lieutenant, and he had a short term on the North Side before returning to the South Side on Truck 17 at 91st and Commercial Ave.


“They make us think outside the box and make us work well with others, which you really need to have while on the job,” said Breakey. “Carmel makes you a better person, makes you a better leader.”

During his time at Engine 101 and Truck 17, he has been noted to be patient with his patients on runs. On most of the runs, Breakey is unique in his approach, especially with those who have a history of mental illness.

He always honks while passing a house with an MC sign near his firehouse, Engine 46. Another time was when he responded to a medical call with an MC student being injured. He told the student, “We’ll give you special treatment.”

When we think of Mount Carmel men who have served, we think of the names who have fallen. Firefighter Timothy Moran is the only Chicago firefighter who has died in the line of duty and is a graduate of Mount Carmel.


Photo of FF Timothy Moran in the Class of 1961 MC Yearbook. 

Moran was born in 1943 and attended St. Felicitas Elementary School. He graduated from MC in 1961 where he worked as a student representative and played football for all four years, wearing the number 47. Moran was on the 1960 Prep Bowl team that defeated  Taft High School 27-8.

According to the CFD and Gold Badge Society, little is known about Moran’s time in the CFD. It’s possible he joined the department in the mid or late 1960s, carrying the badge number 4682. He was assigned to Engine 25, which is now closed and was located near the now Robert Quinn Fire Academy at Jefferson St. and De Keven St.. 



On the night of January 6th, 1973, a fire broke out at the Forum Cafeteria on Madison and Dearborn which turned into an extra alarm, dispatching more firefighters to the scene.

During the fire, the roof caved in, which led to Moran’s death and that of two other firefighters: Firefighter Richard Kowalzyk of Engine 104 and Alfred Stach, the driver for Second Deputy Fire Marshal.


The three firefighters had a combined service at Holy Name Cathedral on January 9th. Moran was survived by a wife and a young child. He was 30 years old.

Memory plaque of Moran in the McCarthy Wing. (Jack Breakey )

Hundreds of students walk by his name plaque in the McCarthy Wing every day, not recognizing his sacrifice.

MC builds men of service, and firefighters do work that is more than just helping others but laying their lives down while on the job. Men from MC who became firefighters show courage, fearlessness, and respect toward others.


“I never hear Carmel guys razz guys from other schools,” said Bouck.

Alumni of MC are filled with these men of service, but they often do not get recognition for their service. These are just a handful of firefighters who served or laid down their lives for their community.

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About the Contributor
Jack Breakey ’24
Jack Breakey ’24, Staff Writer
John “Jack” Breakey is a Senior at Mount Carmel High School. Jack resides on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. He also attended grammar school in the neighborhood at St. Cajetan School.  Jack is a member of Caravan Broadcasting Network as their Senior Producer and also a member of the MC Model UN club and a Peer Leader. Outside of school, he’s a member of the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society. For hobbies, Jack enjoys bike riding, watching movies, playing video games, and researching government. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes is listening to music. He is a large fan of rock and roll, especially Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the genre of bluegrass. This influence came from his father, Thomas Breakey, Mount Carmel class of 1982, and an active Chicago firefighter. His father has been a large inspiration for Jack, who has become a better man because of his father. Jack's dream job is working in international relations or national security. He researches current world events and conflicts while also being a student of history. Who knows? Jack might become the real Jack Ryan one day.