John Brooks named city fire commissioner

Mayor Richard M. Daley has appointed John Brooks, first deputy commissioner for the Chicago Fire Department, as the new commissioner of the city’s fire department.

Mayor Richard M. Daley has appointed John Brooks, first deputy commissioner for the Chicago Fire Department, as the new commissioner of the city’s fire department.

Brooks replaces Raymond Orozco who is leaving the post to become the executive director for the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Brooks’ appointment must now be approved by the City Council, which Daley said he is confident will happen.

The mayor praised Brooks for the work he has done so far with the fire department and said he expects that leadership to continue in his new role.

“He is a first-rate leader who will help us continue our efforts to diversify the department so that it more accurately reflects the make up of the city services,” Daley said.

For his part, Brooks, 50, said he wants to ensure Chicagoans, particularly minorities, that the Chicago Fire Department is a good place to work.

“I want people to know that employment opportunities exist at the fire department and that I am committed to diversity,” he said. “I plan to network with churches, social groups and community organizations for recruitment.”

“We have a zero tolerance policy for racism. The department conducts diversity training for employees each year, and that is something I plan to continue,” Brooks added.

A 29-year veteran of the fire department, Brooks was born and raised in Chicago and worked his way up the ranks to become the first deputy.

His duties as first deputy included administrative and budget oversight of several bureaus and divisions within the fire department.

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