Jeffrey Koenen, a 15-year Burlington Rescue Squad member, will assume the role of EMS Chief after Brian Zweibel retires on Oct. 1. Koenen, who served the leadership post from 2006-2010, will serve the remainder of Zweibel’s term expiring at the end of this year. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Koenen will assume chief role in October

By Jason Arndt


Burlington EMS Chief Brian Zweibel has served the Burlington Rescue Squad for more than 33 years.

But, that will soon change Oct. 1, when Zweibel officially retires from the department with Jeffrey Koenen filling the rest of Zweibel’s term ending Dec. 31, 2019.

Zweibel, who served as EMS Chief since 2010, announced his retirement to members of the Burlington Rescue Squad on Aug. 14 because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“After 33 years serving the community in both the City Fire Department and Burlington Rescue Squad, it is necessary that I step down so I can focus on my family,” he wrote in a news release.

Burlington Town Fire Chief Bill Vrchota, who has worked with Zweibel for a decade, said the retiring EMS chief has always been a dedicated community member.

In addition, Koenen noted Zweibel had a “heart” for the community.

“I have known Brian for 20-plus years. We worked very well together and he was a pleasure to work with,” Koenen said. “I believe he was a huge asset to Burlington Rescue Squad.”

Koenen, meanwhile, said Zweibel will still be nearby to offer assistance wherever needed, but will primarily serve in “advisory role.”

“He has made quite an impact, especially over the last five or six years working with the city making sure that we have enough manpower on the rescue squad itself,” said Koenen, who has been with Burlington Rescue Squad since 2004. “He will still be available for me to ask questions.”

For Koenen, the leadership post itself is nothing new, since he served as EMS Chief from 2006-2010.

To read the entire story, including ongoing discussions about the future of EMS services in the area, see the Sept. 12 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.