BELOIT—Newly-appointed Fire Chief Daniel Pease says he wants to help instill a future vision for the Beloit Fire Department, and the career first responder says he wants community input to help guide the department.
Pease, who was promoted to chief on May 17 by the Beloit Police and Fire Commission, said he plans to begin a strategic planning process to develop a comprehensive plan to guide future decisions in the department.
“We are very established and have a great foundation of success, but to continue the progression of the organization it’s important to everyone to be involved,” Pease said. “It’s important that everyone be involved in the process.”
Pease said the planning process would include public input at community meetings, whether in-person of by teleconference due to COVID-19.
“We’re going to start off looking at what we currently have and look at improving to make things better and that could be anything from technology upgrades to equipment and more,” Pease said.
Pease joined the Beloit department in March of 2018, coming from the Highland Park, Illinois Fire Department. While there, Pease helped implement a new log system and and a new payroll database.
“We want to create efficiencies and focus on fire and EMS and not have to worry about the clerical work,” Pease said.
The department’s staff of 57 emergency responders will continue to use personal protective equipment (PPE) on every ambulance call to ensure safety of the personnel as call volumes begin to return to normal levels following the state’s reopening.
“We’re making sure that we have enough PPE for personnel on every call,” Pease said.
Currently there is one vacancy for assistant chief, the position vacated by Pease, and the position would be filed through Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther and approval by the Beloit Police and Fire Commission.
Pease acknowledged that the impact of COVID-19 could cause some financial strife for Beloit and other municipalities across the state.
“The next priority would be developing a fiscally-responsible plan,” Pease said. “We will have to look at everything to make sure we are making the best decisions for the department.”
A new dispatching program, implemented last year by area departments, allows better shared services between the Town of Beloit and city, Pease said.
“It’s really working well for us,” Pease said.
When asked about whether he would move to Beloit, Pease said he had no plans to move to the city after living in Delavan for the last two years. He is paid a base salary of $135,000 in his new position as chief.
As previously reported by the Beloit Daily News, Pease previously served as chief after spending 30 years at Highland Park. Pease started his career as a first responder in 1987, working for 13 years at Northfield, Illinois Fire Rescue before joining Highland Park.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in business/public administration from Columbia Southern University. Pease comes from a firefighter family and has a total of nine family members in the fire service.