Silvis Fire Department, Fire Chief
In April, the Silvis City Council unanimously approved Local 25 member Lt. John Winters as interim chief of the Silvis Fire Department. John, an 11-year union member and 13-year veteran with the fire department, will officially take over when current fire chief Dave Leibovitz retires on June 1.
“It’s because of the fire department that I ended up in the Local,” he said. “There was a guy who got on at the fire department that was a Local 25 member, and that’s how I got started in the Local.”
According to John, becoming a certified plumber while serving as an on-call firefighter kept his schedule full.
“It was strange, because I was working during the day, going to school at night and working the fire department on weekends,” he said. “Plus, I volunteered for the Andalusia Volunteer Ambulance and Geneseo Ambulance service. I was putting in 70-80 hours there for a while.”
With that much time invested in both organizations on a daily basis, John has developed strong bonds of brotherhood — something that will continue even as his new full-time career begins at the fire department.
“At the Local, they’ve always got your back — and we have that at the fire station, too — but it’s really the individual people that I’ll miss,” John said. “I will still be an active member and keep all my licenses up. I just won’t be working.”