Urbana Fire Chief Dilley to Retire
By Jeff Bossert
Urbana Fire Chief Mike Dilley is retiring after spending 30 years with the department.
Dilley said he actually considered it six years ago, but instead opted to move up from firefighter to chief.
He says the job now has its share of technological advancements – ranging from thermal engine cameras to the computerized fire apparatus.
But Dilley said it’s also a more challenging time, with more flammable materials, like polyurethane foam in furniture.
“The heat is a big part of it, because we’re seeing flashovers occurring in the homes within 5 to 7 minutes that we didn’t used to have, which puts the firefighter in that environment," he said. "The products that are in the combustion, even after the fire is out, the cool smoke as well it, is so full of poisons products, that we have to be careful.”
Dilley will step down July 1. Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing says before a search can be done for a new fire chief, city staff will look at the job description to see if it needs to be updated.
As for his own future, Dilley says he’ll continue some part-time private fire investigation, and may help one of the volunteer fire departments in the area, but it's seeking a full-time job.