Excerpts from the dailyjournal.com:

After 26 years of fighting fires in Kankakee, Damon Schuldt now is the city’s fire chief for the long haul.

The city council approved his appointment on a 13-1 vote, with Ald. Tyler Tall Sr. casting the only nay vote. Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, recited the oath for Schuldt, who has been in the fire industry for 33 years, having previously served five years on Milford’s department.

Schuldt had been the department’s interim chief since Phil Perkins retired at the end of April. The department has been without a permanent chief since Ron Young retired last November.

The city spent $19,500 to have the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association assist with a search. Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong interviewed another captain and Schuldt before making him interim chief. 

In his concluding comments, he praised his department.

“To all the men and women of the Kankakee Fire Department, I can tell you that you guys have one of the best fire departments in the state of Illinois and probably the nation,” he said. “I would stack them up against anybody for their courage, their dedication, the hourly training they put in and the customer service they provide.”