SYCAMORE – Sycamore Fire Chief Bart Gilmore was sworn as the city’s next head of department this week after serving as the interim fire chief for two months this spring.
Gilmore, a 26-year veteran of the DeKalb Fire Department, formerly served as deputy fire chief in DeKalb until his retirement. Since September 2022, he’s worked in the same role for the Sycamore Fire Department under now-retired Fire Chief Pete Polarek’s leadership.
Polarek retired at the end of 2022, and Carl Reina was sworn in as the new Sycamore fire chief in January. Reina left the department shortly after, in March, however, for reasons that have not been made public. In the aftermath, Gilmore was made the acting fire chief.
Just in the few months that I’ve been in this position, with the help of Sycamore firefighters, we’ve accomplished so much.”— Sycamore Fire Chief Bart Gilmore
This week, the city turned Gilmore’s interim position into a full-time gig.
“Thank you all for this opportunity,” Gilmore said to the Sycamore City Council on Monday. “Just in the few months that I’ve been in this position, with the help of Sycamore firefighters, we’ve accomplished so much.
“We’ve installed battalion chiefs, we’re starting a new battalion chief testing process, we’re in the process of starting to put computers in vehicles – there’s so much more to come, and we’re very excited to see it. So once again, thank you very much.”
Gilmore thanked his family for their unwavering support throughout this career – particularly his wife, Bridgett Gilmore. Gilmore’s daughter Tabitha Kairis, his two grandchildren, as well as his mother and brother, Kathy and Hunter Gilmore, all attended his swearing-in ceremony.
Five days after he officially became Sycamore Fire Chief, Gilmore said the promotion “still feels very good.”
“This has been such a welcoming community, I can’t even explain it,” he said “You work so well with the city staff; they all work well together.”