Chief Kris Kazian
SFD’s fire chief, Kris Kazian, began in the fire service in 1990 in the Libertyville (Illinois) Fire Department as a paid on-call firefighter. He was trained there and continued to get his emergency medical technician-B (EMT-B) and, subsequently, his paramedic certification by 1991.
Kazian was then hired by the Countryside Fire Protection District, located in a northern suburb of Illinois, as a career firefighter / paramedic in 1991. He quickly engaged himself in public education responsibilities and attended many training opportunities. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1996 and captain (shift commander) in 1999, spending 15 years on the line as a firefighter and company officer, learning all aspects of the fire service. He was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2006 and Deputy Chief in 2008.
Throughout his career, Chief Kazian participated in many efforts — technical rescue-high angle and dive, safety committees, training, strategic planning, ISO evaluation and accreditation review, as well as related incident command and emergency operation functions. He also he served as public education director and medical officer, developed standard operating guidelines, wrote and managed grants, and developed vehicle specifications. After more than 20 years of dedicated service to fire agencies in Lake County, Illinois, he was selected by the SFD Governing Board in February 2012 to serve as fire chief.
Chief Kazian has an associate’s degree in fire science technology (College of Lake County), a bachelor’s in fire science management (Southern Illinois University), and an M.S. in organizational leadership, Dominican University), as well as Fire Officer III and Chief Fire Officer designations.
He is a member of many fire service organizations, including the International Fire Chiefs Association, and continually networks with peers to achieve common goals and improve fire and emergency services.
He and his wife, Kristy, proudly parented four daughters — Kate, Emma, Lexi, and Cami. After Lexi passed away at the age of 2, they started a nonprofit organization in her honor and memory dedicated to helping children with special needs. They continue to operate their charity and make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children across the world.