Veteran firefighter, West Dundee chief chosen to lead Arlington Heights department

  • Lance Harris

    Lance Harris

Updated 6/9/2022 11:15 PM

A longtime firefighter and Arlington Heights resident has been named the village's new fire chief.

Lance Harris, the West Dundee fire chief for the last two years, will begin his new job in Arlington Heights on June 27, officials announced Thursday.


He replaces interim Chief David Schultz, who has been filling in since Chief Andrew Larson went on leave last year. Larson took his medical/personal leave starting in May 2021 and was unable to return, said Village Manager Randy Recklaus.

Harris, who previously spent 25 years with the Elk Grove Village Fire Department, will become the seventh Arlington Heights chief since the department changed from volunteer to full-time in 1958. He was named to the post by Recklaus.

"Lance Harris' 25 years of experience serve as a proven track record for his commitment to the fire service. His ability to successfully serve in the role of chief, combined with his love for Arlington Heights, make him the best possible choice for this position," Recklaus said in a statement. "As he steps into this new role, we are confident Chief Harris will carry on the fire department's dedication to serving our community with the highest standards of emergency service."

Harris became a firefighter in Elk Grove in 1995, rising his way through the ranks to lieutenant in 2010, battalion chief in 2013 and deputy chief in 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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He earned a degree in criminal justice from Lewis University and his chief fire officer certifications from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

Harris, who has lived in Arlington Heights for 22 years with his wife, Kerry, and their family, was the former director of travel baseball for the Arlington Heights Athletic Association.

"I look forward to working with the great men and women of the department, the village's leadership team, local businesses and the residents of the community to ensure the fire department is providing the highest level of protection of lives and property through rescue emergency medical services, fire suppression, fire prevention and public education," he said in a statement.

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