Village Manager David Fieldman has announced that after 30 years of dedicated service, Fire Chief James G. Jackson, Sr. will retire on Thursday, August 31, 2017. "First and foremost, Jim is a firefighter. He's used his expertise in fire science and incident response to make our community safer." Fieldman said. "His engaging leadership style has created great relationships throughout the Village."
Chief Jackson stated, "I've always talked about 'making your mark on the organization' and leaving the department in a better place, but most importantly it's about making sure the firefighters have the training and tools they need to help them serve the community with excellence."
Under Jackson's leadership, the department attained many honors and distinctions. Most notably, the department achieved an ISO I status and established nationally recognized education programs. His progressive, innovative and collaborative style brought advancements in technology, community outreach, labor relations, and data based initiatives for the community.
"The Downers Grove Fire Department is a source of great pride for our community due to the hard work of the men and women who have dutifully served under the distinguished leadership of Chief Jackson," said Mayor Martin Tully. "Obtaining a Class 1 Public Protection Rating in the fire service does not happen by accident. It is acknowledgement that the ultimate goal, which is to preserve life and property, has been achieved. Our community has benefited greatly from Chief Jackson's many talents and dedication to the fire service, and he will be sorely missed. We wish him nothing but the best."
Chief Jackson began his career in Downers Grove in 1987. He rose through the ranks as firefighter, lieutenant, and Deputy Chief. During his time on the department, he served on many committees, continually initiating model improvements. He was named Interim Fire Chief in 2009 and was sworn in as the department's Chief on February 9, 2010. Jackson has also served as President of the DuPage Fire Chiefs Association and numerous other professional organizations.
The selection of an interim Fire Chief, who will serve until a permanent appointment is made, is underway.