Peoria Fire Department Fire Chief Charles Lauss announced his resignation to the City Council and Department Heads in a statement on January 8, 2018. His last day of work will be January 31, 2018. Chief Lauss stated “This has been a tremendous 4 years serving the City of Peoria. I have truly been blessed to have worked with such a great group of professionals within the Peoria Fire Department. I am humbled and honored to have served the Fire Department and this community as the Fire Chief and as the Director of the Office of Emergency Management.”
Chief Lauss has served as the Chief since November 26, 2015 and has been a fire service professional for over 30 years. He started with the Pekin Fire Department in 1987, and was Chief of the Pekin Fire Department from 2004-2009. After leaving Pekin, he became Fire Chief/Branch Manager for Pinkerton Government Services, overseeing fire suppression and prevention for three of Caterpillar’s local facilities. He has been an instructor in the fire services at Illinois Central College since 1992. He started with the Peoria Fire Department as Assistant Chief in December 2013.
During his tenure with the Peoria Fire Department, Chief Lauss has been a champion for the professionalization of the Peoria Fire Department by leading the accreditation efforts through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and quality improvement model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to current research and industry best practices.
He has been a member of several professional organizations, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Society of Executive Fire Officers, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, and Central Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, and the Peoria County Fire Chiefs Association. He is currently an Ambassador for State of Illinois MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarms System), and serves on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and many other community and social service organizations. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program through the National Fire Academy.
“Chief Lauss is a dedicated fire professional that led the Peoria Fire Department through a challenging budget cycle, and has continued to push the Department forward. He truly cares about every member of the Fire Department and as a team-oriented executive, he is inclusive and challenges his team to excel. The Department’s focus on objective data, self-reflection, and continuous improvement are lasting legacies that Chief Lauss can proudly claim ownership.” stated City Manager Patrick Urich.
On February 1, 2018, Assistant Fire Chief Ed Olehy will become Fire Chief of the Peoria Fire Department.