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Employment Opportunities

RED Center, is seeking a highly qualified and motivated leader to serve as Executive Director. 

Located in Northbrook, Illinois, RED Center and its member agencies are an integrated, multi-jurisdictional organization. RED Center will dispatch approximately 60,000 incidents in 2024, serving a population of approximately 500,000 residents.

The ideal candidate possesses exceptional leadership skills, effective interpersonal and communication skills, and an ability to collaborate with stakeholders to accomplish goals. In addition, the candidate should have experience with both short and long-term strategic planning that includes operations, administration, and fiscal matters. 

 

RED Center Background
The RED Center service area offers the best of big city and small-town living. The area boasts a wide variety of opportunities in commercial, industrial, employment, business, and recreational activities. The Regional Emergency Dispatch Center was established in 1977 through the cooperative efforts of the participating fire departments and their parent municipalities. The fire agencies participating in RED Center are:

  • Deerfield/Bannockburn Fire Protection District

  • Des Plaines Fire Department

  • Lincolnshire/Riverwoods Fire Protection District

  • Long Grove Fire Protection District

  • Morton Grove Fire Department

  • Niles Fire Department

  • North Maine Fire Protection District

  • Northbrook Fire Department

  • Northfield Fire Department

  • Park Ridge Fire Department

  • Prospect Heights Fire Protection District

  • Wheeling Fire Department

  • Wilmette Fire Department

  • Winnetka Fire Department

Currently, the employees at RED Center are allocated as follows: Executive Director (1), Deputy Directors (2), Administrative Service Manager (1), Alarm Specialist (1), IT Services Contractor (1), Shift Coordinators (4), Alarm Operators including Acting Shift Coordinators (16).

The Position
The Executive Director is an at-will employee, who serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Under FLSA, this is an exempt position, who reports to the Joint Chief’s Authority (JCA) of RED Center and a governing Board of Directors. This position collaborates with state and local MABAS, IEMA, and other regional emergency dispatch centers. The Executive Director is also responsible for all standing and ad-hoc committees of RED Center.

The ideal candidate has knowledge and experience in the management and supervision of a public safety telecommunications organization. The candidate must be able to showcase past work focused on leadership, project management, and organizational development. Responsible management experience in a governmental public safety organization may be considered. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university is preferred, but a combination of associated work experience coupled with formal training and education may be considered in lieu of a degree.

Responsibilities

The Executive Director can expect to work with both internal and external stakeholders to develop strong working relationships and lasting partnerships. The Executive Director must support the efforts of RED Center members to provide safe communities, with sensitivity to the individual needs of each community. Challenges and opportunities include: 

  • Review and evaluate current business model to make strategic recommendations to the JCA regarding hiring, retention, staffing levels, and membership expansion.

  • Manage and schedule personnel career development, training needs, and succession plans to maintain highly

  • qualified staff.

  • Facilitate implementation and compliance with Next Generation 911 (NG911).

  • Anticipate equipment and technology needs to identify, implement, and maintain cutting-edge compliance and telecommunications capabilities, including new CAD, phones, radios, consoles, etc.

  • Develop a vision for budget planning, monitor expenditures, and identify new and alternative sources of funding and revenue.

  • Provide progressive and consistent leadership, and expert managerial guidance to RED Center employees.

 

Management & Leadership Style

Our Executive Director displays and is beholden to professional and personal integrity, thus it inspires the confidence of all RED Center employees as well as the JCA and Board of Directors. This person needs to be positively recognized and respected in their profession. The Executive Director is tasked with setting both short- and long-term objectives and goals, which must be communicated, timelined, and completed. Internal and external communications from the Executive Director needs to be clear and concise both orally and in writing.

The Executive Director must be accessible, present, and approachable in the application of principles that guide the organization. It is critical that this person be an effective delegator and allow staff the latitude to carry out their responsibilities independently while remaining knowledgeable and accountable for the day-to-day operations of the center. A measured and evaluated assurance for Deputy Directors and other supervisory role personnel will be the responsibility of Executive Director.

The ability to foster an environment that establishes trust for and by all employees is paramount. An open door, personable management style, with detailed listening skills and appropriate judgment and feedback are crucial to the success of this position. They should maintain a calm demeanor in times of stress and provide guidance to all employees and the JCAs when appropriate. This position requires problem solving, forecasting the technological and personnel needs of the center and lastly, embrace a vision for the future of emergency communications, 911 operations and RED Center. 

 

Qualifications

  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible management experience with a government public safety organization.

  • At least three (3) years in a supervisory or command position immediately prior to applying.

  • Management experience in a public safety telecommunications organization.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage staffing and scheduling, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) events, and relevant Federal and State Employment Laws.

  • Possess a thorough knowledge of local government communication policies and procedures, including criminal justice practices, and security operations.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Illinois Emergency Telephone Systems Act, as well as State and Federal legislation related to emergency communications.

  • Experience in specialized testing techniques for telecom equipment and 911 systems.

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four (4) year college or university is preferred. A combination of associated work experience, as well as formal training and education may be considered in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.

  • A Master’s degree in a related field and/or certifications such as an APCO Registered Public Safety Leader, NENA certification as a National Emergency Number Professional or NENA Center Manager Certification is highly desirable.

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license.

 

Compensation & Benefits

  • Annual salary, based on experience and qualifications is $160,000 +/-

  • Participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

  • Medical / Dental

  • Negotiable paid time off

  • Deferred compensation plan

 

Application Process

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and five (5) professional references by April 15, 2024 at 5:00pm (Central) to Chief Jeff Sorensen at jsorensen@parkridgefd.org. Electronic submissions are required.

Interested persons may make inquiries at 847-318-5287 or jsorensen@parkridgefd.org.

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