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Galesburg Names New Fire Chief

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Randy Hovind will be sworn in next week as Galesburg's new fire chief

Galesburg’s new fire chief is no stranger to the department. Randy Hovind, who has been with the Galesburg Fire Department for 20 years, will be sworn in as Fire Chief on Friday, Nov. 22.

Hovind currently holds the rank of Battalion Chief, serving as the city’s Fire Marshall.

“I am honored to have been selected as Fire Chief,” said Hovind. “I’ve taken each role I’ve held with the Fire Department with enthusiasm and determination to effect the changes that bettered each position and the department as a whole. I intend to bring the same dedication to the role of chief and am ready to take the lead and build the vision of the Galesburg Fire Department.”

Hovind replaces Tom Simkins, who retired as fire chief after leading the department the past ten years. Hovind said he’s worked closely with Simkins over the years and is excited to have the opportunity to continue moving the department forward.

Hovind was born and raised in Galesburg. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fire Science Administration and Management.

City Manager Todd Thompson said Hovind “has proven himself as a leader within the department and has extensive experience in all operations and activities of the Galesburg Fire Department.”

A public reception for Hovind will be held prior to the Galesburg City Council’s Dec. 2 meeting.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.