Palatine fire chief retiring; deputy chief chosen to take top spot
Palatine will have a new fire chief in May following Scott Andersen's retirement after 30 years of service.
Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Gratzianna will take the top post May 18, a day after Andersen retires, Village Manager Reid Ottesen said.
Andersen has been chief since August 2011. Ottesen selected Gratzianna as his successor.
Ottesen said Andersen has provided outstanding leadership over the years, including by mentoring and building a positive environment within the department.
"Chief Andersen has been an incredible chief and I will truly miss him and his tremendous innovation and leadership," Ottesen said. "I am fortunate to be able to stay within the department with a promotion of one of several highly qualified individuals."
Gratzianna, who lives in Palatine, has been a member of the Palatine Fire Department since 1995 and has served as deputy chief since 2012.
"Chief Gratzianna has demonstrated his leadership, commitment and integrity to the Palatine community and fire service for the past 25 years," Ottesen said. "He will be an outstanding leader for our fire department and continue in the tradition of his predecessors. His commitment and passion for the fire service and always exploring new ways of delivering services and building relationships within the department, the community and other communities made him an ideal choice for this position."
Gratzianna has an associate degree in fire science technology from Harper College and a bachelor's degree in fire service management from Southern Illinois University. He also earned chief fire officer certifications from the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal and from the Center for Public Safety Excellence's Commission on Professional Credentialing.
Mayor Jim Schwantz said Gratzianna "has a wealth of experience and will continue to serve all our residents and businesses with passion and honor."
Gratzianna said he was "humbled and honored" to be selected as the next fire chief.
"The Palatine Fire Department is a progressive influence in the Northwest suburbs and is staffed with top-tier individuals that collectively offer the highest level of fire and emergency services possible. It is my goal to support their efforts everyday while preparing and planning for the future."