BLOOMINGTON — Brian Mohr had two reasons to celebrate on Wednesday.
First, he marked his 24th anniversary with the Bloomington Fire Department and, to top that, he was named the city's new chief Wednesday.
“It's ironic that it all came together this way,” said Mohr, 45, of rural Carlock.
Mohr, an assistant chief and training officer, succeeds Mike Kimmerling, who retired in November.
“He brings a solid background of fire knowledge and leadership experience, which will contribute positively to the city," said City Manager David Hales Wednesday in announcing the appointment.
“I am really excited about this opportunity,” Mohr told The Pantagraph. “It's something, as you grow in your career, that not everyone gets. I'm very thankful. I am looking forward to the challenges of working with the command staff and continuing to find better ways of providing customer service to our citizens.”
Hales said Mohr "has the qualities to enhance the high-quality service, reputation and traditions" of the department.
Mohr holds two associate degrees from Illinois Central College, one in applied science and one in fire science technology, and a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University. He is a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and International Society of Fire Service Instructors, with teaching experience in live fire exercises, hazardous materials team drills and CPR.
After joining the department in 1991 as a firefighter/emergency medical technician, Mohr advanced through the ranks, serving as engineer/EMT, lieutenant/EMT, captain/EMT, and as assistant chief since 2013.
Kimmerling retired Nov. 11, at the age of 50, after a 27-year career with the fire department that included five years as chief. Deputy Chief Les Siron had been serving as interim fire chief during the search for Kimmerling's replacement
Recruitment for the new chief was limited to within the department. Mohr was among six applicants.
Mohr said he applied because, “As I advanced throughout my career I found it very rewarding to be in these leadership roles. It was just great opportunity that presented itself to represent the fire department in this manner.”
His annual salary is $125,000. His first day in the chief's office is Monday.
Mohr and his wife, Jill, have three children: Jacob, 21, Mitchel, 19, and Lauren, 12.