In 2007, when St. Charles was looking for a Fire Chief, it was a time of significant challenge for the Fire Department. While the department functioned very well from an operational perspective, and services were viewed positively by City residents, the department was facing some major issues pertaining to facilities and equipment, service delivery models, labor-management relations, and intergovernmental relationships.
Patrick Mullen was hired by the City of St. Charles as Fire Chief on October 1, 2007 after 19 years of service to the City of Naperville Fire Department where he achieved the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. After five years of distinguished, dedicated, and honorable service to the City of St. Charles, Chief Mullen has elected to retire from the fire service.
Chief Mullen has provided tremendous leadership during his tenure as Fire Chief and has demonstrated commitment in his service to the Fire Department and residents of St. Charles. He directed the construction of a new headquarters fire station in the downtown, enhanced the City’s emergency operations center, and established a team of City staff to work together on the purchase and deployment of a new ladder truck.
In addition, under Chief Mullen’s leadership, the training of all City employees in emergency and disaster planning was greatly enhanced. This included the City’s selection for participation in the Integrated Emergency Management Course at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, Maryland during the Summer of 2012.
Chief Mullen is the champion behind the City’s pursuit of accreditation for the Fire Department by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables fire and emergency service organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and performance and compare them to industry best practices. The Fire Department is expected to be accredited in 2013.
The past 5 years have presented economic challenges to the city. However, there is absolutely no question in my mind that the St. Charles Fire Department is better today than it’s ever been. We have better facilities, better equipment, better policies, and better people.
I congratulate Chief Mullen on his retirement and encourage all residents to commend him for his service to the City of St. Charles.