After 29 years of full-time service with the Wilmette Fire Department, with 20 years being as a Chief Officer, Jim retired as the Wilmette Fire Chief. During his tenure in Wilmette, Jim led the fire department through dispatch center consolidation, Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating improvement, shared response arrangements, accreditation, establishment of sprinkler ordinances, and successful applications that generated nine million dollars in grant funding.
After retiring from Wilmette, Jim served as the Associate Director for the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Academy (NIPSTA) where he was assigned as the primary liaison to the Chicago Fire Department. In this position, Jim led planning for and management of many large scale initiatives in the City of Chicago. Jim’s most notable achievement for Chicago was development of the initial Active Shooter training for both the Chicago Fire and Police Departments.
Jim has also served as the Chief Administrator for the Illinois Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Program since 2013. The CFO program is the only chief-level training program in Illinois that is recognized by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. This program, which provides master degree level training to chief level officers, has been recognized in six other states and four other countries and continues to grow in attendance each year.
Education and Training
Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Management from the Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Managerial Leadership from National Louis University. Jim has obtained numerous State of Illinois certifications including Chief Fire Officer. Jim also completed the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program at the National Fire Academy.
Committees and Professional Organizations
Jim is one of the founding members of the advisory board for Underwriters Laboratories’ Firefighter Safety Research Institute. He also serves as a level one peer assessor for the Center for Public Safety Excellence for accreditation assessments of fire departments internationally and evaluation of candidates for Chief Fire Officer Designation.
Awards and Accomplishments
In 2010, Jim received Chief Fire Officer Emeritus status for his significant contributions to the fire service. He is active in numerous local and national organizations and associations.
Jim is currently in his second term as a Village Trustee for the Village of Golf and is a licensed pilot with multiple ratings.