Mayor Sue Lynch announced today that Captain Randy Wilkening, a 26-year veteran of the Portage Fire Department, will succeed outgoing Fire Chief Tim Sosby. Sosby, whose retirement was announced earlier this year, will retire on Nov. 5.
“Following an extensive process, which included accepting applications, interviews with a three-person vetting committee, and final interviews with myself and City Attorney Dan Whitten, I am proud to announce that Captain Randy Wilkening will become Portage’s next Fire Chief,” Lynch said.
“Randy’s experience and long career make him uniquely qualified for this position. Under Randy’s leadership, I am confident that the excellent service the men and women of the Portage Fire Department have come to be known for will continue to set an example for all departments in the state.” Wilkening has had a long career as a firefighter and a paramedic.
In his 26-year career, Wilkening has served as the Assistant Chief of Fire Operations, a Lieutenant and an Engineer. He has served as the Chief of the South Haven Fire Department and was a member of the Portage SWAT Team for 19 years. Wilkening has been a dedicated member of the Portage community. He has served on the Portage YMCA Board of Directors, coached youth baseball and basketball, serves on the Portage Park Foundation Board of Directors and is Board President-elect for 2021. He is also a member of the Portage American Legion and the Isaac Walton League. Randy, and his wife Robin, are active members of the Portage United Methodist Church. Wilkening’s public swearing-in ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. at Woodland Park.