Brian Scott.

Evanston Fire Chief Brian Scott today announced he’ll retire from the department on Jan. 15 and join the Western Springs Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department as deputy chief.

“Chief Scott has served the City of Evanston with honor and dedication for 21 years,” City Manager Erika Storlie said. “Thanks to his outstanding leadership,” Storlie added, Evanston’s Fire Department has been recognized as one of the top departments in the nation.

Scott, she added, has also been instrumental to the City’s COVID-19 response, “helping to prevent infections and save lives in our community.”

In a statement, Scott praised “the fantastic men and women” of the department and what they have been able to accomplish, “from facing the dangers and challenges of their fire, EMS and special rescue duties during a pandemic to proactively reaching out to the community to better educate and engage our residents in the name of safety.”

In 2018, Scott led a regional initiative to secure a $1.4 million FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant, upgrading radio equipment and incident accountability systems for 16 area fire departments.

He also helped establish an inter-agency agreement with Northwestern University for the shared use of its Emergency Operations Center and partnered with AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital to create the Evanston Community Health Outreach (ECHO) program, which provides free in-home medical visits, health education and service referrals for individuals at high risk of hospital readmission.

Scott partnered with Oakton Community College to launch the Evanston Fire Department’s first firefighter apprenticeship program this year, and worked with Rep. Robyn Gabel, Sen. Laura Fine and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to amend the Illinois Firefighter Hiring Act.

Under Chief Scott’s leadership, the Evanston Fire Department achieved its first ever Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Class 1 designation in 2018, the highest possible rating for fire departments nationwide.

Scott joined the department in 1999 as a firefighter/paramedic, and rose through the ranks as captain, division chief and deputy chief before becoming fire chief in 2017. Scott began his fire service career with the Hinsdale Fire Department in 1994.

He holds a master’s degree in public safety administration from Lewis University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University and an associate degree in fire science from the College of DuPage.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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