Rochelle Fire Chief Brian Johnson to Retire

Rochelle Fire Chief Brian Johnson to Retire

Rochelle Fire Chief Brian Johnson intends to retire on September 25, 2015 after a distinguished 34 year career with the Rochelle Fire Department.

Chief Johnson’s career with the Rochelle Fire Department began when he was approached to serve as a volunteer firefighter. After spending some time at the station, Johnson knew that the fire service was his calling. “I’m so lucky,” he recounted. “I started coming around the station as a volunteer and a sleeper and I just loved it.” In 1981, shortly after beginning the EMT program, Johnson was hired as a paid-on-call firefighter. Johnson was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1985.

Following a retirement in the department in 2000, Firefighter Johnson became Lieutenant Johnson; a position that he would hold for the next nine years. In 2009, after the retirement of former Chief Tom McDermott, Lieutenant Johnson was named Chief of the Department. Under his leadership, the Department’s EMTs became full Paramedics.

“As a firefighter and as Fire Chief Brian always put the well-being of the community ahead of all else. His greatest asset is his compassion. I am proud to call him my friend,” said Rochelle City Councilman Tom McDermott.

Chief Johnson is an Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate, and holds certifications in Vehicle Machinery Operations, Hazardous Material Technician, National Fire Academy Hazardous Materials Incident Management Ill, Certified Fire Officer II, Fire Service Instructor II, Fire/Arson Investigation, NFPA Fire Prevention Officer I, NFPA Certified Fire Inspector, University of Maryland National Fire Service Staff & Command, NFA Command & Control of Incident Operations.

As Rochelle’s Fire Chief, Johnson also served as the Chief of the Ogle-Lee Fire Protection District and the Emergency Management Director for the City of Rochelle. In addition to a degree from Kishwaukee College, Chief Johnson has spent countless hours in courses and training through the University of Illinois.

In retirement, Johnson plans to keep busy by spending extra time with his beloved wife, children and grandchildren; volunteering through the Hub Cluster, providing disaster relief throughout the U.S.; and keeping active with the Rochelle Fire Department’s Social Organization – likely grilling pork chops for local fundraisers.