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On Monday, June 29, the Evanston Fire Department will recognize retired Fire Chief Sanders “Sam” Hicks by dedicating their department’s training classroom in his honor. Chief Hicks served the City of Evanston from November 1950 until May 1987.

Chief Hicks was the first African American firefighter hired by the City of Evanston and rose through the ranks to become Evanston’s first African American Fire Chief in 1980. Chief Hicks served in many capacities throughout his career, including Fire Captain and Assistant Chief of Training, and retired as Fire Chief in 1987. Hicks also was instrumental in the development of the department’s first paramedic program in 1976.

“Chief Hicks deserves this honor and recognition for all that he did for the Evanston Fire Department and the City of Evanston throughout his distinguished career of nearly 37 years,” stated current Fire Chief Greg Klaiber. “Those of us serving today are the beneficiaries of the knowledge Chief Hicks passed on while he was with the Evanston Fire Department. For that we are eternally grateful.”  

The event will take place at 3 p.m. on June 29 at Evanston Fire Department Headquarters, 909 Lake Street. The public is welcome to attend the dedication.