Lehman Promoted to Aurora Fire Department Chief

Deputy Aurora Fire Chief John Lehman, a 26 year department veteran has been appointed Fire Chief pending City Council confirmation. 

“Chief Lehman has a proven track record of leadership”, said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “The knowledge and experience he gained coming up through the ranks make him the clear choice to become the next Chief of Aurora’s world-class fire department.” 


Chief Lehman joined the department in 1987 after a two-year stint as a volunteer with the LaGrange Park Fire Department.  Since 2009, he has served as Aurora’s Deputy Fire Chief; the department’s second-highest rank.  

In that position, he oversaw the Emergency Medical Services program, Internal Affairs and Public Information, and took a lead role in the preparation and management of the AFD’s $36 million dollar budget. He has also functioned as Acting Chief since the retirement last November of former Fire Chief Hal Carlson. 

Prior to serving as Deputy Chief, Lehman was First Assistant Chief of Operations, 3rd Shift Commander, Fire Battalion Chief; and held the ranks of Captain, Lieutenant, and Firefighter/ Paramedic.  In his various roles, he has overseen the department’s Training Division, fire suppression and rescue operations, incident command, disaster management, and served as Safety Officer for the department. 

“I am proud of the opportunity to lead such a great organization and am honored to serve as the 16th fire chief in the history of the Aurora Fire Department”, said Chief Lehman. “I have had many mentors, colleagues and friends who have influenced me during my career and when I fill this leadership role, it will be with all of them standing by my side.” 

Lehman holds a BS in Fire Service Administration from Southern Illinois University along with numerous professional certifications.  A respected fire service instructor, he has coordinated and taught in the Command and Company Officer Program at the State Fire Academy since 2000.

Among his community and civic contributions, Chief Lehman has served with the Aurora Kiwanis Club, West Aurora Sports Boosters, and the Presence Mercy Center Hospital Board. 

He and his wife Rebekah have four daughters: Marin, Brynn, Jillian, and Anya, the family currently resides in Sugar Grove. Lehman has agreed to move into Aurora’s city limits within 12 months of his confirmation.