City of Des Plaines, IL

City of Des Plaines, IL

Des Plaines, IL (pop. 58,364) The City of Des Plaines is a diverse, strategically located city just 17 miles northwest of Chicago adjacent to the beautiful Cook County Forest Preserves.   The City is seeking candidates who are progressive, experienced leaders in the Fire and Emergency Services field to serve as its next Fire Chief.

Des Plaines has undergone a renaissance in its historic downtown with new multi- family housing that supports the businesses and restaurants in the Central Business District.  The City also offers a full menu of indoor and outdoor activities for a variety of interests. Recreational opportunities include bicycling on the trail system, a cruise around Lake Opeka or take advantage of the golf course, volleyball courts, picnic shelters and pavilions along the shore. There are numerous restaurant options for most any cuisine.  The City has a diverse employment base with the major employers including the Rivers Casino, Oakton Community College, Holy Family Medical Center, Universal Oil Products, Sysco Food Service, Abbott Molecular and Swissport USA.

The Fire Department has a $21 million annual budget and 98 employees including the Fire Chief, a Deputy Chief and three Battalion Chiefs responsible for three stations. A second Deputy Chief position has been budgeted for 2019 and the next Chief will have the opportunity to appoint this position. Also, of note:

  • The Fire Department underwent an organizational analysis recently which included recommendations that will guide the City and the department in adapting to the changing nature of the fire and emergency service field.  The full report is available on the City’s website:
  • The City offers a full array of municipal services and operates under the council manager form of government.  The Fire Chief is appointed by and reports to the City Manager, who has served the City since 2010 and been the City Manager since 2012.  The current Fire Chief is retiring after a distinguished career in the fire service including the last 10 years as Des Plaines’ Fire Chief.
  • In 2018, the Fire Department had 8,941 calls for service of which 6,721 were EMS calls. Of the EMS calls, 4,857 required transport.  The City’s ISO rating is a 2 and it is a part of the highly regarded Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) which outlines mutual aid operations for the Chicago metropolitan area.  Des Plaines has automatic aid agreements with neighboring suburbs and is dispatched through Red Center, a joint Fire/EMS dispatching center serving 16 units of government in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago.
  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in fire science, public administration, business, or a related field.  A master’s degree in public policy, public administration, business administration, or related field is a plus.
  • Candidates should have at least ten years of increasingly responsible experience in executive-level fire department administration, with at least four years’ experience at the Division, Battalion or Deputy Chief level or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • The successful candidate will be a highly collaborative, experienced fire service/EMS executive with a proven track record in progressive, modern management techniques, with the ability to work closely with elected and appointed officials, department heads and Fire Department employees on the City’s emergency management strategies. The City of Des Plaines offers a competitive benefits’ package and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Residency in the City of Des Plaines is not required.

Salary: $150,000 +/- DOQ. Candidates should apply electronically no later than September 20, 2019 with resume, cover letter and contact information for 5 work related references at to the attention of Heidi Voorhees, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road #130, Northbrook, IL 60062 Tel: 847-380-3240.

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