Posts Tagged Deputy Chief Perry Johnson

New fire chief in Carol Stream

Excerpts from the

The Carol Stream Fire Protection District board agreed to promote Deputy Chief Bob Hoff to the top post Monday night. Trustees are expected to approve a contract with Hoff at their meeting Monday, July 11. The length of Hoff’s contract will likely run three years. The board is still ironing out the terms of the deal, including Hoff’s salary.

Hoff will oversee a district with three fire stations and about 60 sworn employees. He joined Carol Stream in 2012 — less than two weeks after he stepped down as the head of the nation’s second-largest fire department. At the time, he aimed to spend more time with family, but got the job offer to become deputy under his longtime colleague, former Chief Rick Kolomay.

“The pace was set here when I got here, and we’re going to keep that pace up,” Hoff said shortly after the promotion. “The pride and the professionalism that this group has — it’s like when I was in the city. I love the fire service,” he said. “It’s my whole life. It’s my entire life other than my family.”

Including his son, his family has four generations of firefighters.

“He inspires me,” said Hoff, gesturing to a framed picture in his office of his father, a Chicago Fire Department battalion chief killed battling a blaze in an apartment building on Valentine’s Day 1962. Hoff was 5 years old at the time. “To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die,” reads a message below the image of his dad, Thomas, and his mom, Eleanor, who died eight years later.

The other finalist for the job was Perry Johnson, a 38-year veteran with the district. At the time of Hoff’s hiring, Johnson, then deputy chief, moved to a newly created civilian position — chief administrative officer. Together, they  have been handling the day-to-day operations of the district since Kolomay had shoulder surgery, went on paid leave, and officially retired June 1.

The two also have sat on the district’s negotiating team in ongoing contract talks with the firefighters union. Both sides are expected to meet with a federal mediator later this month. Pay raises are one of the issues that remain on the table, Hoff said. Negotiators are considering increases that would align firefighters’ salaries with those of employees in surrounding departments.

thanks Dan & Dennis

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Carol Stream Fire Chief to retire

Excerpts from

Carol Stream Fire Chief Rick Kolomay is planning to retire citing medical issues after a nearly 37-year career.

Kolomay says he’s forced to step down because of what he called major, cumulative injuries that keep him from doing the job. He has been on medical leave since December and recently had shoulder surgery, officials said.

The board hasn’t picked a successor. Kolomay’s last day with the fire protection district hasn’t been determined and the board of trustees is expected to discuss his retirement at its Feb. 15 meeting. Trustees previously have filled the top post from within the ranks of the 15-square-mile district, which covers Carol Stream and parts of Bloomingdale, Winfield and Glendale Heights.

“I don’t think it was expected by anybody, Rick included,” fire district Trustee Rick Fisher said.

Deputy Fire Chief Bob Hoff, a former Chicago Fire Department commissioner, has been handling Kolomay’s duties in his absence. Hoff was hired in 2012 as part of a reshuffling of district leadership, less than two weeks after he stepped down as the head of the nation’s second-biggest department. His position involves training firefighters and developing fitness regimens.

Then-Deputy Chief Perry Johnson moved to a newly created civilian position overseeing district finances and the fire prevention bureau, among other administrative jobs.

Hoff and Kolomay met in 1985, when he was a student in a class Kolomay taught at the state fire academy.

After 23 years working in the Schaumburg Fire Department, Kolomay returned less than a decade ago to the district where he began his career in 1979. Kolomay was promoted from deputy to interim chief in 2009 and permanently got the job several months later.

Kolomay, a third-generation firefighter, created a new culture that unified personnel and stressed training, Fisher said.

“We’ve done some good things together, negotiated some good contracts, worked thorough some personnel issues,” said Carol Stream Firefighters Association Local 3192 President Rick Bonk, a lieutenant in the district. “He’s certainly improved our level of firefighting skill overall.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Kolomay highlighted his role in creating an alliance of neighboring fire agencies aimed at improving efficiencies and sharing resources. Since going live in February 2012, the group has established uniform procedures for battling fires instead of operating under their own guidelines.

Kolomay called his nearly 37 years firefighting a good run that almost matched the longevity of his father, a Chicago firefighter.

thanks Dan and Scott

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