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Tony Ardis officially becomes Peoria’s new fire chief

PEORIA (WEEK) — There’s a new man in charge at the Peoria Fire Department.

Former Assistant Chief Tony Ardis officially became chief Monday, replacing Ed Olehy, who retired after 31 years of service.

Ardis joined the department in 1994 and has held several leadership positions within the department and Firefighters Local 50.

Ardis said the bar has been set high.

“It’s tough not having Chief Olehy here, you know. He set such a great example for us not only as far as his leadership, but just his command presence. So, that’s the first thing we’re getting used to is coming in and not having him here,” Ardis said.

Ardis is the brother of Peoria Mayor Jim Arids, but in a prior interview with City Manager Patrick Urich said Tony Arids was hired because he was the most qualified.

Drew Veskauf

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