We hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday sea-son. We’ve all experienced many changes in the last two years, some personally, some professionally. Your fire department is no different.
As we approach a new year, I think it’s a good time to tell you about some of the changes we’ve made, and some that are yet to come.
Our daily operations in administration have changed some, in that we have three staff members working from home. This is only possible because of our robust IT program. While working well at this time, there are some long term downsides which we are resolving. We have found it to be difficult to be as effective as a team as we want to be. I hope to transition our work from home staff to a hybrid schedule, after the first of the year.
Due to your strong support of our levy increase request, we hired 12 full-time fire-fighters on August 1st. We are already seeing the benefits of that, with reduced response times, since each crew is housed 24 hours a day at our District’s centrally located Bayview Station. Our volunteers continue to be an integral part of our team. It’s not unusual to see our shifts staffed by both career and volunteer personnel.
In the coming months, you will see some new faces in the leadership of the District. Commissioner Mike Noblet will continue his current term and will be joined by two new Commissioners. Commissioner Jim Towers was recently appointed to fill a vacancy created by Commissioner Larry Metz who moved from the District. Commissioner Towers was sworn in at the November 9 Board of Fire Com-missioners meeting. He will fill Mr. Metz’s unexpired term of two years.
Also joining the Board is Savannah Erickson, elected to the Board in November to fill Commissioner Frank Mestemacher’s seat, which was open because he did not run for re-election. Commissioner Erickson will be installed at the Board’s January 13, 2022 meeting.
You will also see a new Fire Chief here in the office. I will retire on April 1, 2022. The District has hired a company called Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) to accomplish the Executive Search process for your next Chief. The District hopes to make an employment offer at the end of this year, or shortly after the first of the year. The application deadline closed on November 8 with 11 individuals applying. Three to four of the most promising applicants will be for-warded to the Board, and following assessment testing, the Board will make their decision. Watch for more information about the successful candidate on our web-site, social media and in our next newsletter.