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New equipment on hold until new fire chief is found
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McMinnville officials delayed the purchase of new equipment for the Fire Department until a new chief is hired. Three candidates have been asked to come in for interviews.
The information was presented to city Safety Committee members.
“We received 46 applications,” said city administrator David Rutherford. “We phone interviewed six and we have three scheduled to come in by the end of this month for face-to-face interviews.”
The three being asked to interview in person are from Idaho, Connecticut, and Georgia.
“We don’t have anyone in that department who could step up into that job,” said Alderman Rick Barnes.
“No,” said Rutherford.
Rutherford began encouraging department directors to establish succession plans within their departments. A plan has yet to take shape in the fire department.
“We are not quite there yet,” said Rutherford. “My hope is we can get a fire chief in there who will establish a succession plan. We have been short-staffed in that department.”
When questioned by Vice Mayor Ben Newman if anyone within the department applied, Rutherford responded, “No.”
Committee members were supposed to discuss buying fire equipment. With the hiring of a new chief pending, that has been delayed.
“I think we need to wait for the new fire chief to get into that issue,” said Alderman Jimmy Bonner.
Rutherford says needed equipment has been identified, but waiting would not cause a problem.
“We have six, if not nine months from the time it’s ordered,” Rutherford said. “I don’t think another six weeks would recreate an issue. I think it would be nice if we allow the new fire chief to have some say in the equipment.”
The purchase was put on hold.