preston 032323SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing the current archaic testing and promotion procedure for Chicago firefighters, State Senator Willie Preston passed a measure today to streamline the process and ensure a more equitable system.

“The brave firemen and women of Chicago risk their lives to protect their community every day,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “I’m happy to give back to those who serve by improving this tedious process.”


Under Senate Bill 1707, which was passed in the Senate today, Chicago firefighters would no longer be exempt from the Fire Department Promotion Act – changing the current promotion process for Chicago firefighters. The purpose of the measure is to create a more standardized process of promotions to align with every other fire department in the state where the Fire Department Promotion Act has worked.


The Fire Department Promotion Act oversees the promotion process for firefighters. It requires fire departments to prepare a promotion list, which determines an employee's position in line for a promotion. A person’s position on the list is determined by a number of factors including the score on a written test, a person’s seniority, and a person’s score on a subjective evaluation. This measure will particularly help Black firefighters who have long proposed changes to the old system.

“For 40 years the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department have suffered through an archaic testing and promotional process that helps no one. The result has been a system that plays with the careers of Chicago Firefighters, infesting the department with politics and weakening the leadership and readiness of Chicago’s Fire Service,” said Joe Senorski of Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2. “It’s time to Put First Responders First and put an end to the city’s decades long history of playing politics with the careers of the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department. We commend Senator Preston and the Illinois Senate for their leadership on our behalf.”

Senate Bill 1707 passed the Senate Thursday and heads to the House for further consideration.