Algonquin-LITH fire chief decision expected soon

Algonquin-LITH negotiating with district’s top choice

Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District trustees expect to announce a new fire chief this week, board members said.

Virgil “Corky” Corless, the board president, said an offer was made to one candidate, but he would not say who it was because of ongoing negotiations with the person.

The candidate who was offered the job is from outside the department, Corless said.

If all goes to plan, an announcement will be made Wednesday, with the person formally sworn in April 24.

Corless said six people interviewed for the job out of the 27 who applied. The fire protection district paid $2,000 to the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to conduct the search.

“They did a fantastic job,” Corless said. “We used ... a professional search firm. They ran the search. All the personal bias was removed from it.”

During the interviews, candidates had the same questions, asked in the same order, Corless said.

“The only variable in the entire process was the candidate’s length of response,” Corless said.

Corless said trustees, representatives from the chiefs association and Interim Fire Chief Patrick Gericke all agreed on the top choice after the March 30 interviews.

Current trustees wanted to get the decision done before a new board is seated, Corless said. Three of the current board members have been part of hiring chiefs in the past.

The district is looking for a new chief because former Fire Chief Kevin Rynders resigned in January. Gericke has been filling in on an interim basis on a three-month contract.

Corless has said he wanted to find someone with strong interpersonal skills, leadership skills and a background in finance.

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