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Local

Fire district selects deputy chief

CAMPTON HILLS – The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District’s first full-time deputy chief is expected to begin work next month, Chief Greg Benson said.

The board of trustees unanimously approved Gary Baum’s appointment Monday.

“Gary’s qualifications were outstanding, and we believe he brings to the department the experience, dedication and training that we were seeking in a deputy chief,” board President Jim Gaffney said in a news release.

“We believe he will be an excellent complement to Chief Benson’s leadership.”

A full-time deputy chief was needed because the demands of the district’s operations require additional staffing to grow and expand in service needs, Benson said.

Baum, 49, was among 17 applicants for the position, Benson said, adding the trustees established an ad hoc committee that identified and interviewed the top five candidates.

Baum’s fire service experience, education, training and teaching made him stand out, Benson said.

An assistant chief with the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Baum is the lead fire science instructor at the Fox Valley Career Center, a faculty member at the Illinois Fire Service Institute and was recently accepted into the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., according to the fire district.

Benson said Baum’s broad experiences position him to be a mentor to the district’s staff.

“One of the biggest things that we need to focus on in the fire service is developing our current group of firefighters to step into future leadership roles,” Benson said.

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