(Aurora, Ill) - Mayor Tom Weisner announced today he is recommending Aurora Fire Marshal Gary Krienitz to replace retiring AFD Chief John Lehman as the next Chief of the Aurora Fire Department.

For more information, see News Release below.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dan Ferrelli | Media Relations Manager | 630-256-5071
Aurora Fire Marshal Gary Krienitz
(Aurora, Ill) - Mayor Tom Weisner announced today he is recommending Aurora Fire Marshal Gary Krienitz to replace retiring AFD Chief John Lehman as the next Chief of the Aurora Fire Department.  
Chief John Lehman advised Mayor Weisner several months ago that it was his intention to retire in early 2016, prompting Mayor Weisner to begin an extensive internal selection process that  included peer surveys, management evaluations and multiple rounds of interviews. Mayor Weisner made his recommendation from among six internal candidates.
"I'm very pleased to recommend Gary as our next chief," Weisner said. "His natural leadership qualities, combined with his considerable experience and training, make him a solid choice for chief. Gary's strong record of volunteerism will help to carry on the tradition of the fire chief being an integral part of the Aurora community."
Serving in the Aurora Fire Department for 19 years, Fire Marshal Krienitz began as a paramedic before being promoted to Lieutenant and then Captain. In April 2015, was appointed as Aurora's Fire Marshal.
"When I was in high school at Waubonsie Valley, a friend gave me an opportunity to ride with Medic 4 at Fire Station 4. Little did I know that brief ride-a-long would have such an impact on who I would become," he said. "Now to be considered for the position as the next Chief of the Aurora Fire Department is such a great honor."
A graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, Krienitz served eleven years as a paramedic after joining the department in 1997. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008 and to Captain in 2014. One year later in 2015, he was appointed as Aurora's Fire Marshal.
In 2014, Krienitz was named Firefighter of the Year.  Along with Private Jason Larson and Private Dan Murphy, he earned the department's top award for their stalwart efforts in a dangerous motel fire that resulted putting themselves in harm's way and saving the lives of two people.
A member of the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Arson Investigators, Krienitz holds more than 15 certifications, including being a certified evidence technician, rescue specialist, arson investigator, emergency medical technician, juvenile fire setter counselor, and personal trainer. He has completed more than 50 training courses through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Illinois Fire Service Institute, the Illinois State Police Academy for Arson and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Krienitz earned his Fire Science degree from the College of DuPage and was a Team Leader with the DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force.
A dedicated community volunteer, Krienitz mentors youth at Calvary Church, teaches Junior Achievement classes at local schools, and has put his extensive training and expertise to use with medical missions in Guatemala, Cambodia, the Philippines, Brazil, Bosnia,  Belgium, Slovakia and Ethiopia. He, his wife Stephanie, and their children Claire and Kevin, reside in Plainfield. They'll be moving to Aurora within one year.
"You know when you have that feeling when something is just right? That's how I felt first entering a career in fire service and that feeling is even greater all these years later," said Krienitz. "Building on foundation laid by Chief Lehman, the Aurora Fire Department has the right tools needed to continue to improve and be the best. I look forward to working with my team to develop short-term and long-term goals that are realistic yet innovative, aggressive and efficient."
The recommendation for Aurora Fire Chief will be considered by the City Council on Tuesday, January 26 at a Special Committee of the Whole Meeting at 5:00 p.m., At 6:00 p.m. the City Council will convene for their regularly scheduled meeting, where they will vote on the Mayor's recommendation of Krienitz for Aurora Fire Chief.
Chief John Lehman will continue to serve as Fire Chief through his scheduled retirement date in February, at which time the new Fire Chief will be officially sworn in.

Located 35 miles west of Chicago, Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois with a population of 200,456.  Aurora is known as the "City of Lights" because it was one of the first in the nation to illuminate its streets with electric lights.  Situated along the Fox River and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (Interstate 88), the city extends 46 square miles encompassing Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties.  Aurora also is home to six public school districts and seven townships.  For the latest news, access to an archive of past news releases or to follow the city on Facebook or Twitter, visit the city's website at

Monica Mancano

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