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Ceremony planned for retiring fire chief

Alan BerkowskyA retirement ceremony for Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services Chief Alan Berkowsky will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 28, in the Parasol Room at the Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

Chief Berkowsky started his 28-year career with the city in 1981 as a firefighter/paramedic.

He was promoted to fire captain in June 1990.

He worked as a fire inspector and was promoted to division chief of administrative services in 1992.

In 1995 he was named fire marshal in the fire prevention bureau and was promoted to fire chief in June 2004.

Berkowsky has been credited with upgrading the department’s radio system, computerizing report writing so the department could go paperless and building two new fire stations.

He also assisted with the design and startup of the 911 center, worked with Underwriters Laboratories to modify the design of the first carbon monoxide detectors and halogen torchier lamps, advocated for the sprinkler retrofit ordinance for dormitories, hospitals, nursing/care facilities and non-owner occupied rooming houses and introduced paramedic-equipped fire trucks.

As chief he hired 34 new firefighters and promoted 17 captains, three shift chiefs and three chief officers. 

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