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Evanston Fire Captain McDermott retires after 26 years

Michael McDermott, a fire captain with the Evanston Fire Department, announced his retirement on Jan. 9 after 26 years of service.

McDermott began his career in 1997 as a firefighter and paramedic and began serving as a paramedic preceptor mentoring new trainees in 2003. He was promoted to fire captain in March 2007 and served in that role until his retirement.

“Captain McDermott’s retirement marks the end of an era for our department,” Evanston Fire Chief Paul Polep said in a news release. “As a decorated 26-year veteran, he exemplified unwavering dedication to the safety of our members. We wish him and his family a very healthy and well-deserved retirement.”

During his time with the Evanston Fire Department, McDermott was awarded the Craig Stiles Unit Performance Award. According to the news release, this is given to members of the department whose bravery, dedication and professional skill saved lives or property under adverse conditions and is the second highest recognition offered by the department.

McDermott also received the Chief’s Letter of Commendation for “exhibiting exceptional skill and professionalism as a paramedic.”

He took on additional training in extrication and tactical operations while also receiving Hazardous Material Operations, Fire Apparatus Engineer, and Fire Officer I and II certifications as well as an associate degree in fire science from the College of DuPage, according to the news release.

For 25 years, McDermott served on the department’s Safety Committee, where he most recently served as community chair, to ensure the safety of fellow firefighters. Additional service includes his 15 year on the Standard Operating Guideline Committee and his time on the Evanston Fire Department Local 742 negotiation committee.