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Spring Grove Fire Protection District's new chief begins

Tobiasz retires after more than 20 years in Spring Grove

The Spring Grove Protection District has a new fire chief.

Former Chief Rich Tobiasz retired June 30, and Paul Klicker has taken over the role with the district. Klicker formerly served as deputy chief for the Glenview Fire Department and has lived in Spring Grove since the early 2000s.

“I look at it as a chance to train some young firefighters in the area,” he said.

Klicker has been teaching fire science at McHenry County College since 2003. He said that his passion for work lies within a desire to teach and serve.

“Whatever my knowledge base is, I want to pass that on to the younger generation and provide a valuable service to the community and its residents,” he said.

Klicker officially took over the role July 1.

The district is made up of 43 employees, including administration, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, he said.

Klicker’s contract began July 1 and will end April 31, 2022, according to the contract. He will be paid an annual salary of $91,538 beginning Aug. 1 and will make an equivalent hourly amount in July, according to the contract.

He will receive a 3% annual raise, effective May 1 of each year. The position is permanent part time. There are no full-time employees with the district, he said.

The district will provide Klicker with a cellphone, vehicle and a $350 uniform allowance, according to the contract.

He is eligible for 10 vacation days in the first year of his contract, 13 vacation days in Year 2 and 15 vacation days in the third year, according to the contract. He won’t be able to take more than 15 vacation days consecutively, according to the contract. Klicker also is entitled to two sick or personal days annually.

Klicker can be employed as an educator or coach when he isn’t working with the district, as long as his performance doesn’t suffer, according to the contract.

The district’s former fire chief came into the role in 1993. Tobiasz started his career in the fire service in 1974. He worked with the Fox Lake Fire Protection District for eight years before joining the Spring Grove district in 1982.

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