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    City of Fort Atkinson names Peterson as new Fire/EMS Chief

    The City of Fort Atkinson has named its next Fire/EMS Chief and Emergency Management
    Coordinator. Bruce Peterson of Johnson Creek has accepted the position. Peterson is currently
    the Fire Chief at the Johnson Creek Fire Department and has over 30 years of firefighting, EMS,
    and emergency management experience.

    Peterson was selected as the finalist after an interview with the Police and Fire Commission Jan.

    The new fire chief started his career as a firefighter/paramedic with the Village of Barrington,
    Illinois Fire Department. He continued his career there and from 2007 to 2014, Peterson served
    as a fire lieutenant. From 2014 to 2023 he was the Assistant Chief and from 2020 to 2023 was
    the acting fire marshal. He has served as the Fire Chief for the Johnson Creek Fire Department
    since March 2023.

    Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois
    University in Carbondale, Illinois. He also holds an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service
    Technology from William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.

    Division Chief Mike Lawrence has been serving as the interim fire chief at the department since
    previous Fire Chief Daryl Rausch retired in June 2023.

    “When developing the job advertisement, interview process, and candidate questions, we
    surveyed members of the department and asked them to identify key attributes and skills
    needed in the next fire chief,” said City Manager Rebecca Housman.

    “I am confident that we have selected a candidate that possesses those skills discussed by our
    fire/EMS personnel and one that is committed to building on the high standards of
    professionalism and service to the community our citizens have come to expect from the Fort
    Atkinson Fire Department,” Houseman added.

    “I am appreciative of Division Chief Mike Lawrence’s service to the Department and the
    community for the last eight months as the Interim Chief. Division Chief Lawrence is an asset to
    this organization and a wonderful person. His support for this process and the decision to hire
    Chief Peterson shows his stellar character and commitment to the success of the Department,”
    continued Houseman.

    “The Fort Atkinson Police and Fire Commission has worked diligently and carefully to interview
    interested and qualified candidates to fill the position of Fire/EMS Chief for the City of Fort
    Atkinson. The City engaged a recruiting firm GovHR to aid in the prescreening of potential
    candidates, coordinating finalist interviews and the recruiting process,” said Philip Jones,
    chairperson of the Police and Fire Commission.

    “Chief Peterson brings more than 30 years of experience principally from Barrington, Illinois
    and most recently from Johnson Creek. We look forward to having Chief Peterson join our
    Department and lead the Department going forward,” Jones added.

    “We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Interim Chief Mike Lawrence for his
    guiding the department during the time that the search has been underway. I would also like to
    thank the members of the Police and Fire Commission and City Manager Houseman for their
    dedication, thoroughness and careful deliberation to the process and the selection process," he

    The City received 33 applications from 15 states, including 13 from Wisconsin, for the position.
    The hiring committee went through two sets of interviews with seven total candidates. A
    formal swearing-in ceremony will be announced at a later date.