Two Nevada County Consolidated Fire District battalion chiefs were promoted Monday to division chiefs in what was seen as a transitional move until local fire agencies could hire a new chief.
The district’s board of directors voted unanimously in favor of promoting Battalion Chiefs Jerry Funk and Jim Turner to division chiefs, effective Tuesday. The action came at a special meeting at the district’s fire station and administrative offices on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley.
Funk is expected to serve as Operations Division Chief, responsible for the day-to-day activities, while Turner will be Administrative Division Chief, handling administration of the district. Both men will also be responsible for emergency operations and for responding to major emergency incidents.
The two interim division chiefs will replace Consolidated’s current Interim Chief Jerry Johnson, who has been filling in since the departure of former NCCFD Chief Adolph Zubia last November.
“I am closing in on the limit of my hours,” Johnson said Monday, in explaining the need for his replacement.
Johnson said CalPERS, the state employees retirement system, sets a maximum of 960 hours for retirees who return to service on a temporary or substitute basis.
“We cannot thank Interim Chief Johnson enough for the remarkable job he has done helping the district though some very difficult times,” said Board Chair Warren Knox.
Knox said the action Monday “further emphasizes the board’s desire to not choose a new, full-time fire chief at this time,” he said. “The board is waiting until it has a better indication if there is an opportunity for a number of Nevada County fire agencies to share one chief.”
With the promotion, Funk and Turner’s salaries will rise from their current $79,241 annually to $90,561. After a new chief is hired, they will return to being battalion chiefs and will earn the accompanying lower salary level.
Knox said Funk and Turner have more than 25 years of fire experience.
“Both have recently been recognized by the board of directors for their ongoing dedication in providing the highest quality of emergency services to the constituents of the district,” he said.
Last month, the Consolidated board voted to commit to seeking a chief to oversee multiple fire agencies. Consolidated and fire agencies in Grass Valley and Nevada City also agreed last month to form a joint operating agreement, or JOA, moving closer toward working as a unified entity under the same leadership.
To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.