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Fire district trustee's son chosen as new Lemont chief

LEMONT – The Lemont Fire Protection District Board of Trustees approved the contract for Battalion Chief George Rimbo to take the reigns as the new chief during its June 20 meeting.

His father, Rick Rimbo, is a member of the board of trustees and abstained from voting on his contract approval. The rest of the board voted in favor of his approval.

Rimbo, 44, will start the new position July 18. The contract is for one year and $125,000. Within the year, he will be up for evaluation.

"I'm humbled that you chose me," Rimbo said. "I look forward to all the possibilities with becoming the next fire chief."

Rimbo first joined the department as a firefighter when he was 19 and has served as a battalion chief for four years.

The final three candidates were all from within the district.

"We as a board are very proud that all the candidates came from within," said President Victoria Cobbett.

Outgoing Fire Chief Carl Churulo endorsed Rimbo as the most qualified of the three, said board member Michael Kasperski.

"The chief basically pointed out George as the one," Kasperski said.

Churulo said he has gotten to know Rimbo, who works 40-hour weeks as a training safety officer. He has seen how well he works with other departments and is impressed with his problem solving, financial and negotiating skills.

"I've taken the department from point A to point B," Churulo said "I think he'll skip point C and take this department places it's never been before."

Rimbo said Churulo trained him, as well as other members of the district, in order to succeed him as chief.

"He would give us the opportunity to see from his perspective what his job entails," Rimbo said. "He always took time to make sure we understood what we were doing."

Rimbo said one of his goals is to re-evaluate the district's strategic plan, though he does not know of any changes he would make until he gets a closer look at it.

The Rimbo family has a history working with the Lemont Fire Protection District. Rimbo's grandfather, also named George, served as a district lieutenant.

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