Wauconda Fire District Fire Chief Dave Geary. | Provided Photo

Wauconda Fire District Chief David Geary, who was one of the department’s first full-time firefighter/paramedics, will retire next month after 45 years of service.

The Wauconda Fire District announced Geary’s retirement Friday.

Geary has served the district in different capacities since first joining the organization in 1977 as a part-time firefighter.

In 1980, he was hired as one of the district’s first full-time firefighter/paramedics and went on to serve as a medical officer, lieutenant, business manager and then fire chief.

“There are many things I am proud of at the Fire District, but the most important of those is the First Responders, who serve the community with compassion and professionalism everyday while providing emergency medical and fire services,” Geary said.

Geary’s last day will be May 20 and a walk-out ceremony will take place that day at fire station one, 109 West Liberty Street in Wauconda, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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“During David’s tenure as Fire Chief he was always focused on supporting our First Responders and working with our Board to develop long term strategies for financial stability and long term capital planning,” Fire District President William Hogan said.

Fire District Trustee Luis Planas said that under Geary’s leadership, the district was able to obtain over $1.3 million dollars in federal grants in the last two years to help improve staffing, equipment and fire station facilities.

Hogan also announced that Deputy Chief Patrick Kane will be Geary’s successor and move into the role of fire chief on May 20.

Kane is a 27 year veteran of the Wauconda Fire District. He served the organization first as a part-time firefighter and then made his way up through the full-time ranks serving as a lieutenant, battalion chief and then deputy chief.

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Kane also served honorably with the United States Marine Corps.

“The District Board is eager to begin working with Kane in his new role as Fire Chief and are looking forward to his leadership and ability to help the District become an even better response agency as we continue forward,” Hogan said.