New fire chief has my condolences

October 28th, 2011 by Ken

The Lacey Fire District is in the process of hiring a new fire chief. Five finalist have been selected to go to the next round of meeting the public and interviewing with special interest groups.

It’s been a couple of decades since Lacey has hired a new fire chief and before that it was another couple of decades. Lacey fire chiefs, once they’ve been hired, seem to stay.

What’s different this time around is that the new fire chief now represents the largest fire district in the county. Lacey Fire District 3 was always large, particularly when they contracted with the City of Lacey. But now, that the city has annexed into the fire district, the new Lacey fire chief will serve more people than any other chief in the entire county.

And, all residents of the fire district will have a chance to meet the candidates and spend some time with them at a public reception on November 8.

The five finalist are from all around the country. The same search firm which came up with the finalists is the same one which helped the City of Lacey in its search for a new city manager; keeping it all in the family – so to speak.

The five finalist include Steve Brooks, who is already with the Lacey Fire Department. Others include Ron Alvord from Idaho, Marcus Reed from Oregon, Michael Sherman from California, and Christopher Truty from Illinois.

I’m sure all of them are excellent candidates and whomever is selected will do a good job of serving the public and the fire district.

But, the new fire chief will have his hands full of problems. First is an aggressive fire fighters union which has gotten involved in politics, likes the taste of blood and is venturing into other realms outside their areas of concern.

Another problem is a economy which makes more money and additional funds, difficult, if not impossible to obtain.

And finally, the new chief is faced with a community, not wedded to the concept that the City of Lacey has nothing to do with fire services or with medic services. That falls upon a fire commission that has lost most of its institutional memory and doesn’t understand how to relate to the greater Lacey community which it now serves.

I’m not sure congratulations are in order for the new fire chief. Perhaps condolences are more appropriate.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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