caption freeform

Deputy Fire Chief Joseph S. Schrage Promoted to Fire Chief

Deputy Fire Chief Joseph S. Schrage Promoted to Fire Chief
Retiring Chief Larry Amidei honored at August 23 City Council meeting

August 26, 2021 – The City of Highland Park is pleased to announce that Deputy Fire Chief Joseph S. Schrage will serve as Highland Park’s Fire Chief following the retirement of Chief Larry Amidei on August 27, 2021.

Schrage’s 24-year career in fire service began with part-time roles in three fire departments before joining the City of Highland Park in 2003 as a firefighter/paramedic. Schrage is a member of an elite group of professionals to have received the international designation of Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Promoted to Lieutenant in 2016, Battalion Chief in 2018, and Deputy Chief in 2020, Schrage has served the Fire Department in numerous capacities during his career, including as Operations Chief, Accreditation Manager, Director of Public Education, Center for Public Safety Excellence Peer Assessor, Citizen Fire Academy Director, and Hazardous Materials Special Team Member for MABAS Division 3.

“Throughout his career, Deputy Chief Schrage has distinguished himself as a leader with great integrity, professionalism, and passion for his work and for our community,” said City Manager Ghida Neukirch. “I am confident that he will build on the strong foundation of excellence that has long been the hallmark of the Highland Park Fire Department and shape the future of the department for years to come.”

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, and the Fire Science/Firefighting program at Southwestern Illinois College, Schrage also served for two years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Warrenville Fire Protection District.  Schrage’s professional service includes leadership roles with the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Northern Illinois Public Education Team, and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance.

“It is an honor to be appointed to lead this dedicated team of fire service and emergency response professionals and work alongside an exceptional staff of all City employees,” said Schrage. “I look forward to continuing Highland Park’s tradition of world-class, comprehensive emergency fire and medical response and community education.”

Retiring Chief Larry Amidei was recognized at the August 23, 2021 City Council meeting for more than three decades of distinguished service with the Highland Park Fire Department. The City will mark Chief Amidei’s retirement on Friday, August 27, with a ceremony at Fire Station #33. At that time, Deputy Chief Schrage will be promoted to Fire Chief, and Battalion Chief Frank Nardomarino will be promoted to Deputy Chief. Nardomarino brings extensive fire service experience to his new role, having served with the Highland Park Fire Department for 20 years. Nardomarino has received Chief Fire Officer and Chief EMS Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2013 and Battalion Chief in 2018.

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.