Consultant hired in fire chief search

The Fire District No. 22 board approved a contract at the Nov. 18 meeting to hire a consulting firm to assist the commission in a national search for a new fire chief for East Pierce Fire and Rescue.

Commission expects new chief will be hired by February

The Fire District No. 22 board approved a contract at the Nov. 18 meeting to hire a consulting firm to assist the commission in a national search for a new fire chief for East Pierce Fire and Rescue.

Emergency Services Consulting Inc., based in Wilsonville Ore. will provide the services for the search.

The commission appointed a search committee Oct. 30 comprised of commissioners Ray Bunk, Mike Cathey and Rick Kilbourn. The committee recommended to the commission members the firm be hired.

Bunk said the consulting firm had “done this before and it is awesome to have a third party. We are trying to make it impartial. That’s our biggest goal.”

East Pierce Chief Dan Packer died July 26 in a wildfire at the Panther Fire south of Happy Camp in Siskiyou County in northern California.

John McDonald has been the interim fire chief since Packer’s death.

McDonald will be one of the candidates for the job.

The consultants will advertise for the position, collect the applications, rank each one, present the results and applications to the committee by Jan. 22.

Bunk said, “the committee will make selections of the top five or six and the first interviews panel will be Feb. 6.”

The commissioner said the second interview panel will take place Feb. 14. The panel will likely include commission members and citizens according to Bunk.

Commission Chairman Rick Kuss had asked the committee to have the process completed and a fire chief hired by the end of January, but he said the committee members, “worked on me a little bit and we added a couple of weeks, but I think this is in the ballpark.”

The application period will last about 60 days.

“To some people it’s a long time and some not long enough,” Bunk said. “To me its enough.

The motion to hire the consulting firm at a cost of about $9,600 received five yes votes from Kuss, Kilbourn, Red Mendenhall, Cathey and Karlyne McGinnis. Cheryl Bylin voted no and Victor Proulx abstained. Bunk was called to work during the meeting and did not vote.

The salary for the chief will range from about $130,000 to $140,000.

Reach Dennis Box at dbox@courierherald.com or 360-802-8209.

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