Fire chief retires


The Coal City Fire Protection District has announced the retirement of its fire chief, James Sheldon.
A release issued by the district’s president, Randy Alderson announced the chief’s departure from his post.
“The district expresses its thanks and gratitude to Chief Sheldon for his dedicated service,” the release stated.
Sheldon has served as chief for seven years. He was appointed by the board in late 2011 to fill the post vacated by the retirement of its former chief in May 2012.
During his tenure, Sheldon commanded multiple large-scale incidents; oversaw the implementation of various projects, including the addition of new fire apparatus and equipment; as well as guiding the department through two tornados including one that caused significant damage to Fire Station 2.
Sheldon has 40 years of experience in the fire service. He started his career in the emergency medical services division of the Lemont Fire Department and later began as a firefighter there. In 1988 he was named a lieutenant and held the rank of battalion chief when he left Lemont to take on his new position in Coal City.
Prior to the announcement of Sheldon’s retirement, the fire district’s attorney confirmed reports he had been placed on leave by action of the board of trustees in late October. The reasons have not been disclosed by the board.
The board of trustees has further announced that until a permanent replacement is made, James Seerup will continue to serve as interim fire chief and Karl Wexelberg as interim deputy chief of operations.