DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster has notified City Manager Bill Nicklas of his intention to retire, effective Saturday, November 27, 2021 when he reaches the threshold of 26 full creditable service years with the DeKalb Fire Department. Chief McMaster started with the department as a probationary firefighter/paramedic on November 27, 1995.
City Manager Bill Nicklas explained that Chief McMaster’s career interests within the department included hazardous materials, public education, and fire service training. “In Jeff’s long and dedicated career, he held the ranks of Lieutenant/Paramedic (2004-2009), Captain (2009-2012), Battalion Chief (2012-2013), Assistant Fire Chief of Training (2013-2017), Deputy Fire Chief (2017-2018), and interim Fire Chief (November 30, 2018 to February 1, 2019), before his appointment as Fire Chief on February 1, 2019. We are grateful for his many years of unselfish leadership and service.”
During Chief McMaster’s career, he served for many years as a member of the MABAS Division 6 Hazardous Materials Team and as coordinator of the DeKalb Fire Department’s Public Education team. Chief McMaster received many certificates through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well. He has also proudly maintained his paramedic licensure. In 2017, Chief McMaster graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
City Manager Nicklas reported that a search for a permanent successor will be undertaken in the near future.