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Ex-St. Charles fire chief hired in Algonquin-LITH

The former St. Charles fire chief is set to become the next chief for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.

Patrick Mullen, who retired from the St. Charles Fire Department, tentatively is scheduled to begin work with the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills department Wednesday.

A contract has yet to be finalized, and board President Virgil “Corky” Corless would not comment on Mullen’s pay until a deal was signed.

Interim Chief Patrick Gericke will stay on until at least Friday to help with the transition. Gericke did not apply for the full-time job, Corless said.

Mullen worked for St. Charles from 2007 through November 2012 and retired as the chief.

He was with the Naperville Fire Department from 1988 to 2007, and left that department as the assistant chief of operations.

St. Charles is similar in size to Algonquin’s department when it comes to personnel and call volume, Corless said.

“He works with [an] accreditation association, going out doing evaluations, works with departments going through the accreditation process, and he has extensive background working with labor [unions],” Corless said. “He came across as a very progressive, disciplined professional.”

Mullen will look into whether the district goes through the accreditation process, Corless said.

“A majority of the board is still there, I would think they’re going to look into that very seriously,” Corless said. “It’s about a three- to four-year process.”

Corless lost his bid for re-election to the board Tuesday.

The fire district needed a new chief because its former chief, Kevin Rynders, agreed to resign in January.

Mullen was one of 27 people who applied for the job. Six people interviewed.

The fire district paid $2,000 to the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to conduct the search.

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