Ill. firefighter-paramedic dies by suicide, family seeks answers
The family of Hinsdale Firefighter-Paramedic Nicole Hladik, 27, said there had been a sudden recent change to her mood before her death Tuesday
Need help? Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org to chat with a counselor.
By Laura French
HINSDALE, Ill. — The family of an Illinois firefighter-paramedic is searching for answers after her death by suicide on Tuesday.
The family of Hinsdale Firefighter-Paramedic Nicole Hladik, 27, said she was a "bright rising star in the fire service" and that her suicide was "a complete surprise," according to WGN9.
Relatives reported that she seemed very happy but that they noticed a recent change in her mood, adding that she had traded shifts and there was "suddenly just a lot of negativity," her uncle told WGN9.
Hladik's brother said the family is not making any accusations and simply wants the facts and to understand why there appeared to be such a sudden, drastic change.
Hladik was the only female firefighter at the Hinsdale Fire Department and the third in the department's history. She received her paramedic license from the Edward Hospital Paramedic Program in 2018, graduated from Western Springs Fire Academy in June 2019 and was sworn in to the Hinsdale Fire Department in September 2019, according to the Village of Hinsdale website. She also received her advanced firefighter certification from the Romeoville Fire Academy in September.
"The Village of Hinsdale is heartbroken over the death of Firefighter/Paramedic Candidate Nicole Hladik, who took her life today. This is a devastating loss for her family and friends, the Fire Department, and the entire Village," village officials said in a statement Tuesday. "We have been in contact with Nicole's family; and, brought in grief counseling for our fire department. In the coming days, the Village will seek an external evaluation to better understand what happened to one of our own."
The Palos Park Police Department also posted a tribute to Hladik on their Facebook page.