Fox River Countryside Fire/Rescue names first chief

The new Fox River Countryside Fire/Rescue District has a new chief to guide its evolution. It’s a task he’s already familiar with.

District officials Tuesday announced Greg Benson as the first fire chief of the district. Benson is already associated with the district as trustees hired him last month to be the technical adviser for the selection of fire equipment and seeking bids for manpower and emergency services with private companies. That process eventually led to the selection of Wheaton-based American Emergency Services as the new fire and ambulance provider. Under the deal, Benson will be an employee of AES, not the district.

Benson previously served as a battalion chief with the Elgin Fire Department. He has a 30-year career in fire service.

The district’s contract with the city of St. Charles for emergency services expires at the end of April. Benson will assume his duties on April 1. That gives him a month for the final preparations surrounding the opening of the district’s two new fire stations. Those stations will serve a territory on both sides of the Fox River that touches all or parts of unincorporated St. Charles, Wayne and Campton townships as well as portions of the villages of Wayne, Campton Hills, Elburn and South Elgin. Benson will also oversee the day-to-day duties of more than 50 fire and ambulance employees.

“I am honored to be able to continue to serve the people of my community and to help improve overall emergency services in the Fox Valley,” Benson said in a written statement. “We are actively staffing our department with certified firefighters and paramedics, and I feel confident that the board has done a great job planing this transition. We look forward to being ready to roll on May. 1.”

Because Benson is an employee of a private company, information about his compensation package was not made immediately available.