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Mullen to retire as St. Charles fire chief

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles City Council on Monday will honor Fire Chief Patrick Mullen, who plans to retire this month.

Mullen, 56, said Friday he enjoys his job and enjoys working in St. Charles, but he is stepping down for personal reasons.

"From my perspective," he said, "it's time."

His last day will be Nov. 29.

City administrator Brian Townsend said Mullen will be difficult to replace.

"I've worked with several fire chiefs in my career," Townsend said. "I have to say, Patrick is one of the best. He works very hard. He's done a lot of things for the fire department in the five years he's been here. I think the city is going to miss him. The residents of St. Charles owe him gratitude for the things he's accomplished."

Mullen joined the fire department in 2007 after 19 years with the Naperville Fire Department, where he was assistant fire chief.

He described his years in St. Charles as very busy and challenging. When he was hired, he said, the economy was markedly different than what it would become. He faced shrinking budgets and had to keep positions unfilled although they had once been identified as desirable, he said.

Monday, the City Council is expected to present and pass a resolution commending Mullen of his service. In it, the council recognizes him for the department's new headquarters and the enhancement of the city's emergency operations center, among other achievements.

Assistant Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet will serve as acting chief until May, after the municipal elections, Townsend said, noting the elected officials are allowed to participate in the selection process.

"There could be a significant amount of turnover not only in the mayor's office but in the City Council," Townsend said.

Mullen said he and his wife will continue to live in St. Charles.

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