Naperville firefighter tapped to be Wheeling’s next fire chief

A veteran firefighter from the West suburbs has been named Wheeling’s next fire chief.

Scott A. Salela, most recently the division chief of support services with the Naperville Fire Department, will succeed Mike McGreal, who retired Jan. 12.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this distinguished department,” Salela said in a Wheeling news release. “I look forward to serving in this new role.”

The search for a new chief began in October, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said.

Salela was among 37 candidates for the post.

Seven candidates were interviewed for the job and four were finalists, Sfondilis said.

Of those, Sfondilis selected Salela for the job; village board approval isn’t needed.

“Scott’s combination of field and administrative experience make him uniquely qualified to not only lead the village’s already stellar department, but also to contribute a new and useful perspective to its operations,” Sfondilis said Saturday.

Salela is expected to begin his new job Feb. 20. He will collect a $180,000 base annual salary, Sfondilis said.

Formed in 1896, the Wheeling Fire Department was a volunteer organization until 1969, and Salela will be just its fourth chief.

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