CHICAGO – January 2, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointment of fire service veteran and administrator Larry Matkaitis as Illinois State Fire Marshal. Matkaitis currently serves as the northern regional administrator in the Office of State Fire Marshal, a position he’s held since 2005, and prior to that spent over 30 years in the Chicago Fire Department.
“The Fire Marshal is dedicated to protecting our wellbeing from fire safety and prevention to elevator inspection and review,” said Governor Quinn. “Larry brings a wealth of experience and dedication to this important role.”
In addition to being northern regional administrator in the Office of State Fire Marshal, Matkaitis served for over three decades within the Chicago Fire Department, rising from paramedic to chief paramedic and later assistant deputy fire commissioner for emergency medical operations. (Background Information)
Matkaitis has supervised numerous training programs for first responders and hazardous materials incidents. He is also a member of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, was the deputy commander of the unified flood response command team during the summer of 2008 and has previously served as Chairman of the Emergency Medical Services Committee of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Illinois as the State Fire Marshal,” said Matkaitis.
After attending Northern Illinois University, he served in the United States Army for six years before being honorably discharged in 1975. He has also been a FAA-certified pilot since 1969.
The office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal works together with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Mutual Aid Box Alarum System (MABAS) and local departments to respond to man-made and natural emergencies. The agency also works closely with local fire departments to teach and regulate fire safety and prevention through inspections and setting personnel and education standards for Illinois fire fighters. In addition to coordinating arson investigations throughout the state, it collects data and analyzes trends, helping to better response times and procedures. It also provides fire safety materials to schools at no cost.
For more information on the Illinois State Fire Marshal, please visit: http://www.state.il.us/osfm/