Home / News / Baker to retire as Buffalo Grove fire chief, capping ‘unique’ 45-year career – Chicago Tribune

Baker to retire as Buffalo Grove fire chief, capping ‘unique’ 45-year career – Chicago Tribune


Buffalo Grove Fire Chief Mike Baker will retire this summer, completing 45 years in the fire industry, officials announced in a news release.

Baker’s last day on the job is set for July 14, after which Deputy Chief Lawrence “Larry” Kane will take over as his successor and take the reins the following day.

“Chief Baker is second to none in the fire department. His career has been characterized by a relentless pursuit of excellence and dedication to improving emergency medical services,” Village Manager Dane Bragg stated in the release.

Baker, who already has 34 years of service, joined the Buffalo Grove Fire Department as assistant chief in 2013 and was promoted to chief and director of the emergency management office in 2015, the statement said.

“I am extremely grateful for the support, friendship and growth opportunities I experienced during my time at Buffalo Grove,” Baker said in the statement.

Baker’s professional journey began in 1979 as a firefighter/paramedic with the Hanover Park Fire Department, before becoming a firefighter/paramedic with the Elgin Fire Department in 1985 and serving as interim fire chief from 2011 to 2012. Buffalo Grove, according to the description.

“I especially want to express my deepest gratitude to the residents of Buffalo Grove, as their support and trust are the foundation for us to provide the highest level of medical, suppression and prevention services,” Baker said in a statement. said.

Baker’s career accomplishments include managing municipal emergency medical services, overseeing personnel issues and job interviews, and coordinating fire prevention bureau activities, the statement said.

“Working for such a wonderful community was the high point of my fire career, and I will be forever grateful,” Baker said in the press release.

Kane’s collaborative approach, combined with what was described as a “steadfast commitment to fostering a culture of excellence,” earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues, officials said in the statement.

“I am grateful for Chief Baker’s guidance and invaluable contributions to the department, and I am grateful to the Village Board, staff, and firefighters for your trust and support,” Kane said in the press release.

The statement states that Kane, who started his career as a police officer and later joined the Glenview Fire Department in 2001, became the deputy chief of the Buffalo Grove Fire Department in 2022. He said he was “honored” to be chosen as the next fire chief.

Kane will lead initiatives including the upcoming rebuild of Fire Station 25, as well as plan other facility improvements needed to modernize equipment and operations, according to the statement.

“As we look to the next generation of fire suppression/prevention and emergency medical services, there is no one better suited to lead the department and meet the evolving needs of the community than Deputy Chief Kane,” Bragg said in the release.

The leadership transition comes as work continues to prepare for fire and emergency medical services in Buffalo Grove, the statement said.

In March 2023, the Buffalo Grove Fire Department became one of only 11 fire departments in Illinois to earn international accreditation, ensuring operations are best prepared for the risks and challenges of the future, officials said in the statement.

“Chief Baker leaves behind a remarkable legacy with his unwavering commitment to public safety and commendable accomplishments throughout his career,” Village President Eric Smith said in the press release.


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