EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Two longtime members of the East Peoria Fire Department were promoted this morning at the city council chambers.
Chris Rieker was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief and Matthew Foster was promoted to Lieutenant. This comes after the former Assistant Chief retired.
Foster, who has been a member of the department since 2008, reflected on the various roles he has had.
“I’ve worked up through the rank of probationary up to paramedic to engineer, just driving the firetruck every day, stepped into this role, just trying to help guide the younger generation, some older than me, but guide them in the right way so hopefully I can make some positive changes,” he said.
Rieker, who has been with the department since 2000, said the promotion made him reflect on the career of firefighting as well.
“It’s a very gratifying career, to the new hires I say it’s the easiest job in the world, just make somebody’s day better than when you first saw them, the hard part is knowing how to do that,” Rieker said.
Rieker and Foster both talked about trying to get younger people to become firefighters. Foster specifically said that he hopes this can show young people that firefighting is not stagnant, and there’s opportunity for growth.