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Hoodland Fire opens Deputy Chief search posted on 11/01/2019

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) officially opened the search for a Deputy Fire Chief with a job posting in trade publications and elsewhere on Friday, Nov. 1. Interested candidates have until Friday, Nov. 29 to submit an application packet.

HFD Fire Chief John Ingrao noted that the job listing will be at a national level, as the district searches for a qualified candidate who will most likely take over as the next chief when Ingrao retires.

“We want to spread a fairly wide net,” Ingrao said.

Ingrao added that the top 12 or 13 candidates will be brought in for an interview process, likely during the second or third week in December, that will include interviews in front of two panels (administrative and fire service) and a physical agility test. The top three candidates from the interviews will move on to another interview with Ingrao. Ingrao expects to give a recommendation to the district’s board of directors at the Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 board meeting.

The final candidate is also expected to pass various other tests, including medical, physical and psychological, as well as a background check, with the potential to start on the job on Feb. 1, 2020.

Ingrao noted that he sees the district as an attractive place for candidates due to the strong community and a smaller fire department that can be “nimble” and effect change quickly.

“Large departments have to go through a myriad of steps,” he said, adding that community support, such as from the district’s Community Emergency Response Team, helps with implementing new programs. “I think that’s an attractive point.”

The new position is made possible thanks to the district’s voters, who approved a five-year levy to fund the position in the May 21 election earlier this year. The Deputy Chief position will result in 24-hour command coverage for the district and allow for faster response when multiple calls occur.

The salary range for the position is posted between $116,000 to $124,775, depending on qualifications and experience.

Ingrao noted that while he hopes to retire, with the new Deputy Chief likely taking over at that time, he will step aside only when the board is comfortable with it and the timing of the transition makes sense. Until that time, he’s also looking forward to the additional support at the command level.

“It’ll be a breath of fresh air to have a second in command,” Ingrao said.

The candidate will be given a six-month probationary period, “just to make sure there’s a fit,” Ingrao added.

Applications are available through the district’s website at www.hoodlandfire.us, can also be picked up in person at the district’s main station, 69634 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches, or can be requested at 503-622-3256 or carol@hoodlandfire.org. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29 and will not be accepted electronically.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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