Wauconda Fire District Chief David Geary is retiring from the organization he first joined as a part-time firefighter in 1977.
Geary’s last day will be May 20 when he’ll be recognized in a traditional walkout ceremony at Fire Station One, 109 W. Liberty St., Wauconda. Deputy Chief Patrick Kane, a 27-year fire district veteran, will succeed Geary as chief.
Geary is a Wauconda native who over the last 45 years has worked in different capacities with the fire district and the village.
In 1980, he was hired as one of the district’s first full-time paramedic/firefighters. He also served as medical officer and lieutenant before leaving town for several years.
According to a village news release, Geary left in 1989 after resigning as village administrator to become director of emergency services at Universal Studios in California.
He returned to Wauconda in 2006 and was hired as village’s public works director. In March 2011, he was named village administrator to replace Dan Quick and served until September 2012.
Geary then left the village for the newly created administrative position of business manager with the fire district. He held that spot until late 2017 when he was selected by the fire district board to succeed retiring chief Mike Wahl.
As fire chief, Geary focused on supporting first responders, and with the board, developing long-term strategies for financial stability and capital planning, according to board President William Hogan.
In the last two years, the district has been awarded more than $1.3 million in federal grants for staffing, equipment and facilities, according to a district release announcing the retirement.
“There are many things I am proud of at the fire district but the most important of those is the first responders, who serve the community with compassion and professionalism every day while providing emergency medical and fire services,” Geary said in the release.
Kane joined the organization as a part-time firefighter and ascended through the ranks as lieutenant, battalion chief and deputy chief.
The district provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services to about 40,000 residents in 10 communities and unincorporated parts of a 50-square mile area.