Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez has announced plans to retire at the end of this month. Perez has served over 7 years as Illinois State Fire Marshal and over 37 years in the public safety field. Before beginning his career in the fire service, Perez worked for two years as a patrol officer in the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. He then joined the Aurora Fire Department where he served 27 years and became certified as a paramedic, an arson investigator, and rose to the rank of Assistant Chief.
While serving as State Fire Marshal, Perez worked with the Governor’s office and legislators to increase funding for training, education, equipment, and vehicles for Illinois Firefighters including new programs for volunteer departments which serve over 70% of the state.
Dale Simpson will assume the role of Acting Fire Marshal until a permanent replacement for Perez is named. Simpson was hired into the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal in July 2013 as a Fire Prevention Inspector, became Fire Prevention Division Manager in 2016, and has been the Bureau Chief of Operations since 2019. He retired from the Springfield Fire Department after 26 years, where he served as a Fire Fighter, and then Division Chief of Fire Safety, and finally, as the City of Springfield Fire Marshal.