Posts Tagged fire chief retires

Dekalb Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster will retire after 26 years of working with the DeKalb Fire Department on Nov. 27. 

McMaster wanted to be a firefighter for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Chicago, he would walk past a fire station to get to school, and it really appealed to him. His favorite TV show was Emergency, which is about the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He saw firefighters as heroes, which drew him into the fire service. 

McMaster received his bachelor’s degree in business from DeVry University. Despite his business degree, he knew he still wanted to be a firefighter, so he was testing for departments while he was in college. 

He found his way to the DeKalb Fire Station after he explored the town when he found out about their testing. He was impressed with the structure of the fire station and its vehicles. He knew he wanted to be here because it was so different from where he grew up in Chicago, and he liked how the community of DeKalb was so put together. 

The best part about his job is seeing people help each other and the community coming together after a car accident or a house fire. McMaster said people would help bring the firefighters in or get food and drinks for the families affected. During his time as chief, he said his proudest moments came from being one of the largest response agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

McMaster gravitated to the public education team because he wanted to do more to reach the community and teach everyone from kids to the elderly how to be safer. He would teach children about smoke, educate people on CPR or fire extinguishers, and the elderly how to not fall and what to do in case of emergency. 

McMaster has also been on the Hazardous Materials Team since 1999. 

He chose to retire after he evaluated what’s good for the department and himself. 

Tags: , ,

Dixon Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Tags: , , , ,

South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

At the age of 64, Bill Sohn wasn’t ready to retire from the South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District, but the 42-year department veteran said recent health problems have made it time for him to move on after four years as chief. In recognition of that service, Sohn was honored Friday with a traditional fire department walk out ceremony complete with uniform review. 

Former chiefs of police, retired firefighters, current and retired office staff, area fire chiefs and the department’s firefighters and staff turned out for the event. Sohn shook every hand and even a hugged a few people who lined up for the formal uniform review. The walk out ended with the final tones coming over dispatch radio.

Sohn started with the South Elgin department as a part-timer in 1976, and was one of the first three full-time employees in 1979.

It was important to Steve Wascher, the new fire chief, that Sohn be saluted for his years with the department with a ritual that hasn’t been done at South Elgin in several years.  Sohn officially retired March 9, and Wascher was sworn in March 10. Wascher is also a long-time South Elgin firefighter. He’s been with the department for 25 years.

While he had cousins who were firefighters, he hadn’t thought about the work as a profession until he ran into Elgin Firefighter Mike Oine, whose own father was the South Elgin chief. Oine told Wascher he should apply, and by the time he got back to his summer job at his family’s appliance store, there was a message from the chief waiting on his desk.

South Elgin is seeking voter approval to sell $10 million in bonds to allow the department to replace its aging fire house at 150 State St. with two new stations. If approved by voters Tuesday, one station would be built on Spring Street on the west side of the Fox River and the other on South Elgin Boulevard, east of the river.

Another ballot question voters to approve a .10-percent tax levy increase to fund operations at those two locations. If approved, taxes would increase $33 on a home valued at $100,000.

Tags: , , , ,

Elk Grove Fire Chief to retire

Elk Grove Fire Chief David Miller is retiring July 1st. The Daily Herald published an article chronicling his career on Thursday.

Elk Grove Village officials announced the resignation of Fire Chief David Miller after 38 years of service during Tuesday night’s village board meeting.

Miller, who joined the Elk Grove Fire Department in 1973 as a firefighter/paramedic, rose up the ranks to the top firefighter post in June 2006. His last day with the department is July 1.

Under his leadership, the fire department has been able to maintain a Class 2 ISO rating held by less than 1 percent of fire departments nationwide.

The full Daily Herald article can be found HERE.

Tags: , , , ,