Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Peter Van Dorpe was in for a change when he was hired nearly two years ago as assistant fire chief of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District. He spent the first 33 years of his career at the Chicago Fire Department, where he eventually worked his way up to become chief of the training division.

In a fire department of 5,000 employees, his job description was carved out for him, he said. But when he moved to the fire protection district, which has about 70 people, he had to be a jack of all trades.

He was recently chosen to replace Fire Chief Patrick Mullen, who retires Aug. 7.

“He’s eminently qualified to take over the position,” Mullen said, adding that Van Dorpe’s extensive experience in the field was a big reason he originally was hired. “He’s very open and easygoing. He has a unique ability to make connections with people.”

Mullen was hired at the fire protection district only months before Van Dorpe during a large administrative turnover. Under Mullen, the organization also formed and adopted a strategic plan, which Van Dorpe said would likely set the groundwork for financial and organizational development.

The best part about the fire protection district, and a large reason Van Dorpe accepted the offer to become chief, is that positions are often filled internally, he said. Officials are in the process of hiring the next assistant fire chief, which will likely be announced next week.