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On Feb. 20, Battalion Fire Chief Donald Kunita will retire from the Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services after 35 years of service to the City of Evanston.

Chief Kunita started with the Department in 1976 as a Firefighter. In 1979 he became a Paramedic and was promoted to Captain in 1985. He worked as a fire inspector and investigator and was a state certified evidence technician. Kunita rose to the rank of Battalion Chief, commander of the 32 member Shift in 2003.

“Chief Kunita has been involved in numerous projects over the course of his career and was hired during a time when the department’s new paramedic program was getting underway. Kunita came on with nine other recruits, including the department’s first female firefighter,” said Fire Chief Greg Klaiber. “I would like to thank Chief Kunita for his 35 years of dedicated service to the community of Evanston.”

Kunita recalls many changes in the fire service over the years that included the addition of breathing apparatus, better radio communications and enclosed cabs on vehicles that no longer required firefighters to ride on the outside of apparatus. Many changes to the methods used today and life safety codes have protected the citizens of Evanston and the firefighters that protect those within the community. A generation of firefighters has benefited from Don’s clear and steady leadership throughout his distinguished career Klaiber said.

A retirement party recognizing his career will be held on February 20, 2012 at Fire Department Headquarters 909 Lake Street, Evanston, IL. At 3:00PM.