Consolidated Fire District closing in on hiring new chief |

Consolidated Fire District closing in on hiring new chief

Representatives from Nevada City and Grass Valley joined directors from the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District to continue the process for selecting a new fire chief for the fire district.

Director Dave Hanson said the field of 42 applicants have been narrowed to three, all of whom are from western states.

“We spent about 20 hours interviewing potential candidates for the new position of fire chief here at Consolidated Fire,” Hanson said.

Hanson said the process involved two separate panels, one comprised of firefighting personnel that included fire chiefs from the area and members of the Local 3800 Union.

The other panel features board members and officials from the two cities that collaborate with Consolidated Fire under the Joint Operations Agreement — an resource-sharing arrangement.

“The candidates we were able to interview were exceptional,” Hanson said.

At the end of the process, both panels recommended the same four candidates, although one was removed from the list due to status as a retired annuitant.

Ron Coleman, who was contracted by the district to the tune of $36,000 for consulting on the hire, was also present during the interview process.

Consolidated Fire is performing “extensive background checks” in the hopes of making an announcement of the new hire sometime in mid-July. Consolidated Fire has been operating without a true chief since Tim Fike was placed on administrative leave in March 2012 after engaging in a physical confrontation with one of his employees.

Fike and Consolidated Fire agreed to part ways in June, and David Ray was promoted to division chief, but repeatedly announced his aversion to the political exigencies of the administrative side of running a fire district.

Ray retired in May 2013 after a 39-year career and Jim Turner and Jerry Funk, both newly appointed battalion chiefs, have been jointly performing the role of fire chief with input from Penn Valley Fire Chief Vander Plaats and Grass Valley Fire Chief Tony Clarabut.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or 530-477-4239.

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