Nevada County Consolidated Fire District names new chief |

Nevada County Consolidated Fire District names new chief

Families and friends of four promoted and newly hired Nevada County Consolidated Fire District firefighters gathered Thursday for a badge pinning and swearing in ceremony at Station 84 in Nevada City.
Keri Brenner/ |

In a stunning new development, members of Nevada County Consolidated Fire District board on Thursday voted unanimously to promote Division Chief Jim Turner to Fire Chief and Division Chief Jerry Funk to Deputy Fire Chief.

That was in lieu of a plan announced last week to conduct a joint search for a single chief to oversee Consolidated, Nevada City and Grass Valley fire agencies.

“We have good people in-house,” said Board member Keith Grueneberg, who proposed the idea. “You don’t need a super-chief to come in here.”

Board members agreed to have Turner and Funk, who were part of a “technical committee” of fire officers that worked on the shared services plan announced last week, come back with recommendations at the next meeting on who they would choose as supporting officers — such as battalion chiefs — from Grass Valley and Nevada City, if those cities were agreeable and interested in sharing Turner and Funk.

“They (Turner and Funk) can see how the holes are filled in,” Grueneberg said.

Grueneberg said the idea would solve the problem of how a single chief could be expected to devote 100 percent attention to each of three agencies.

Turner and Funk would continue to work for Consolidated, but agreements could be made with the two cities to share their services, board members said.

Other problems that would be solved, board members said, were eliminating a potential steep learning curve that someone from out of state would have to follow if hired as chief, and lowering the potential salary for a new chief from that discussed last week for a three-agency plan.

Turner and Funk have been working in partnership for the last few months in an interim chief capacity.

“You guys have done a remarkable job as division chiefs,” said board member David Hanson.

The Union will publish more details on this story at a later date.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email or call 530-477-4239.

This story was updated on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 to remove specific time references to future stories.

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