PORTAGE — A 26-year veteran of the Portage Fire Department has been selected as its new leader.
Mayor Sue Lynch last week announced Portage Fire Captain Randy Wilkening will succeed Chief Tim Sosby following Sosby's Nov. 5 retirement.
"Following an extensive process, which included accepting applications, interviews with a three-person vetting committee, and final interviews with myself and City Attorney Dan Whitten, I am proud to announce that Captain Randy Wilkening will become Portage's next fire chief," Lynch said.
"Randy's experience and long career make him uniquely qualified for this position. Under Randy's leadership, I am confident that the excellent service the men and women of the Portage Fire Department have come to be known for will continue to set an example for all departments in the state."
Wilkening is the former chief of the South Haven Fire Department and a 19-year member of the Portage SWAT team. He's also served as assistant chief of fire operations, a lieutenant and an engineer.
The new chief already is well-known in the community thanks to his extensive involvement in youth activities.
Wilkening has served on the Portage YMCA board of directors, coached youth basketball and baseball, and is the 2021 president-elect of the Portage Park Foundation board of directors.
He also is a member of the Portage American Legion, the Izaak Walton League and the Portage United Methodist Church.
His public swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting in Woodland Park.
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