FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2003
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed former firefighter and investigator Peter F. Viña as the new Illinois State Fire Marshal. He is the first Hispanic and minority to serve as the State Fire Marshal and he begins Thursday, July 17, 2003.
“Peter Viña has been a part of fire service at almost every level, and he has valuable experience as an internal affairs investigator. Both of these experiences will help him make sure the fire marshal’s office is accountable to the fire fighting community and the residents of Illinois,” said Blagojevich.
Viña, 50, has nearly 17 years of fire service experience. He spent 11 years, from 1978 to 1989, with the Maywood Fire Department, working his way up from firefighter, to arson investigator, to lieutenant. From 1989 to 1995 he worked in the State Fire Marshal’s office where he managed the Chicago office and coordinated several statewide programs, such as the Fire Equipment Act.
From 1995 to 1999, Viña served as an internal affairs investigator for the Department of Public Aid, where he worked with law enforcement, the department’s legal division and labor relations division to root-out corruption, fraud and misconduct. Since 1999 to present, Viña has served as the assistant chief of the Bureau of Latino Relations within the Illinois Department of Human Services.
He earned his associate’s degree in fire technology from Triton College and his bachelor’s in fire administration from Southern Illinois University. Viña received his Arson Investigation Certification from the National Fire Academy in Maryland.
Viña, who is bilingual, was born in Mexico and grew up in Melrose Park, a suburb just west of Chicago. He now lives in nearby Maywood with his wife Barbara. They have four grown children. Viña serves on the boards of the Proviso United Way, Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office works with local fire departments to provide fire fighter career development, assistance in arson investigations as well as providing information on fire prevention safety, boiler and pressure vessel safety and petroleum and chemical tank safety.
Viña will earn $98,200 as the new State Fire Marshal.