Monday, the board of trustees for the Utica Fire Protection District emerged from 25-minute closed session and voted unanimously to name promote Brown from assistant chief to fire chief.
“We’ve very excited to have Ben,” trustee Mike Roebuck said. “The fire department has come a long way in the past several years and we look forward to seeing it grow in the next several years.”
Brown, 26, has an associate degree in fire science technology from Joliet Junior College and a paramedic certificate from Kishwaukee College. He gas been a firefighter for 10 years, lieutenant for two years and assistant chief for the past year.
“The objective to me is to move the department forward and always strive for excellence,” he said.
Brown replaces Gary Gbur, who resigned mid-month (retroactive to Oct. 6) following a two-year stint as chief.
Brown’s promotion also culminates a period of unusual upheaval in Utica. Mayor Fred Esmond died earlier this month and was replaced by trustee Gloria Alvarado (her vacant seat has yet to be filled) while the La Salle County Historical Society bade a sudden farewell to president Doug Holland.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or email@example.com.