1601 Underwood Ave
Ph: (414) 471-8490
Fx: (414) 471-8473
Chief Robert Ugaste began his fire service career in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Lake Forest Fire Department in Illinois. One year later he was hired by the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District (LRFPD) where he would spend the next 30 years. There he served as a Paramedic (25 years), Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief, and finally Deputy Chief. During his tenure he managed; the Paramedic Division, Public Education Division, Hazardous Materials Team, Communications Division, Specialized Rescue Team, and Human Resources. As the Accreditation Manager for LRFPD, Chief Ugaste was also responsible for the oversight and direction of a three year project that resulted in his organization receiving accredited status from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (2010).
Chief Ugaste is a certified grant writer and has obtained grants totaling 1.4 million dollars. He was the first elected Public Sector Chairperson for the Lake-Cook Regional Public-Private Partnership consisting of over 60 corporations and 40 public sector entities (2009 – 2011). Chief Ugaste is also actively involved in; the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs, the Milwaukee County Fire Chiefs Association, the Great Lakes Fire Accreditation Managers, and the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce.
Since joining the Wauwatosa Fire Department in March of 2011, Chief Ugaste was honored to be elected to the position of President of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association (2016-2017). He is also the Vice President of the Milwaukee County Fire Chiefs, the elected Public Sector Chair of the Tosa Area Preparedness Partners (TAPP), a public-private partnership, and has been appointed by Milwaukee County Executive Abele to the Milwaukee County EMS Council and the Milwaukee County Radio System Governance Board. Chief Ugaste was also appointed by Governor Walker to the State Advisory Committee for Fire Department Safety and Health. Chief Ugaste is the liaison from the Milwaukee County Fire Chiefs to the Waukesha County Fire Chiefs and he served as the Assistant Team Leader for the Southeast Wisconsin Incident Management Team (IMT) from 2012 - 2015. Lastly, Chief Ugaste is the Chair for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Committee on Accreditation and he helped facilitate a successful four year initiative that resulted in the Wauwatosa Fire Department achieving accredited status (2015).
Chief Ugaste’s education includes; a Masters in Fire Service Leadership, a Bachelors in Public Safety Administration, and an Associates in Fire Science. He also holds certifications as; Hazardous Materials Technician, Illinois Fire Officer III, Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Executive Fire Officer (EFO), Accreditation Peer Assessor, and is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE). Four of the Chief’s research projects have been published by the National Fire Academy, three of his articles were published on Fire Rescue Magazine’s website, and he writes a quarterly accreditation article for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Magazine.
Chief Ugaste is married to his wife Linda who was born in Fond du Lac and grew up in
La Crosse. They have three children; John, Joshua, and Christie (all grown). The Chief comes from a fire service family that includes his Father, Brother, Uncle, and Cousin. In addition, his wife’s two Grandfathers both served as Captains on the La Crosse Fire Department and his Daughter is married to a firefighter from Travis County just outside Austin, Texas.