Justin Schuenke said after 10 years, it’s time for a change

By Michael S. Hoey


Darien Fire/EMS Chief Justin Schuenke is resigning his position. Schuenke said his appointment expires in February, but he will stay with the department as long as necessary to help with the transition to a new chief.

Schuenke has been with the Darien Fire Department since 1995 and has served as chief since 2012. He became the chief of both the fire and EMS departments when the merged and he remained chief when the village and town agreed to join with the villages and towns of Sharon and Walworth to form a unified department serving all six communities.

The chief position is not a full or even part-time position, Schuenke said. Rather, he gets paid a stipend for the job. His full-time job is as a firefighter and paramedic in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Schuenke said he’s not leaving his position as chief because he’s unhappy or angry about anything but said his opinion when he took the position was that he would do it for 10 years.

“After 10 years, I think the department and organization need fresh blood and new ideas,” he said. “I don’t want it to get stagnant. It’s time for someone else to take the reigns… it’s time for a new perspective.”

Read more about what Schuenke had to say and additional topics covered at the Aug. 23 Village Board meeting in the Sept. 2 Delavan Enterprise.


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