Highland News Leader

Highland EMS chief to serve in interim leadership role at fire department

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Highland EMS Chief Brian Wilson was appointed interim fire chief of the city fire department Friday by City Manager Mark Latham.

Effective Jan. 1, Wilson will serve as the chief until a new chief is found to fill Chief Rick Bloemker’s position. Bloemker is retiring after 38 years of service to the department.

“I’m going to approach the job as I would any other task and we’ll do the best we can and keep the organization moving forward,” Wilson said. “Even now, on an interim basis, my approach is going to be as if the interim wasn’t even attached to it.”

Wilson said he doesn’t believe the new post will hamper his work as EMS chief. He said the departments have overlapping personnel and are based in the same buildings.

He said when the job was posted internally through the Highland city government, he was excited to apply.

“It’s what I know and what my career has been,” Wilson said. “Its been my strength for 42 years and hopefully that is going to continue.”

The city Police and Fire board selected Wilson after interviewing five candidates. He started his career in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1976.

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Highland EMS Chief Brian Wilson stands by the newest ambulance for the city’s medical emergency response crew. The unit, a 2006 Ford, was purchased last year from Sugar Creek Township for $30,000. The vehicle had 62,000 miles on it and replaced another ambulance, which racked up 1 million miles. News Leader File Photo

In 2015, after retiring with Edwardsville Fire Department, Wilson came to Highland to serve as the EMS chief. He currently serves as the city’s interim director of building and zoning.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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