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After 21 years of dedicated service, Evanston Fire Chief Brian Scott has announced his retirement from the Evanston Fire Department, effective Jan. 15, 2021. Mr. Scott, who has served as Evanston’s fire chief since 2017, has accepted a position to serve as the deputy chief of the Western Springs Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
“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, the Evanston Fire Department has been recognized as one of the top fire departments in the nation and a leader among fire departments in the Chicago area. As fire chief and as a member of the City’s emergency management team, Chief Scott has also been instrumental to our City’s COVID-19 response, helping to prevent infections and save lives in our community.”
“I am so proud of the fantastic men and women who comprise the Evanston Fire Department and what they have been able to accomplish,” Chief Scott said. “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, they have always risen to the challenge. So, while I look forward to the new challenges ahead, I will sincerely miss being part of this outstanding organization in service to such a wonderful community.”
As fire chief, Mr. Scott has worked to enhance the safety of firefighters and the community through technology and equipment improvements, collaboration, and community partnerships. In 2018, he 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 enhanced collaboration with City partners and institutions, helping to establish an inter-agency agreement with Northwestern University for the shared use of its Emergency Operations Center and partnering 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.
Expanding fire service career opportunities to more Evanston residents, Chief Scott partnered with Oakton Community College to launch the Evanston Fire Department’s first firefighter apprenticeship program in 2020, and worked with State Representative Robyn Gabel, State Senator Laura Fine and Governor J.B. Pritzker to amend the Illinois Firefighter Hiring Act.
Under Chief Scott’s leadership, the Evanston Fire Department achieved its first Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Class 1 designation in 2018, the highest possible rating for fire departments nationwide.
He 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. He has served as a rescue diver on the department’s Special Rescue Team and as a paramedic preceptor. Scott began his fire service career with the Hinsdale Fire Department in 1994.
He holds a Master of Science degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University, and an associate degree in Fire Science from the College of DuPage. Since 2007, he has served as a field instructor with the Illinois Fire Service Institute. Scott also serves on the McGaw YMCA Board of Directors, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston.