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Search for Deputy Fire Chief restarts posted on 01/01/2020

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) will restart its search for a Deputy Fire Chief after only two candidates submitted applications for the position in the initial search. The district needed at least five applicants to continue with the hiring process.

HFD Fire Chief John Ingrao noted the timing of the first search, which ran from Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 through Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, coincided with the beginning of the busy holiday season. He added that the search opened at that time because of the support the community showed in the May 2019 levy to fund the Deputy Chief position, which was approved by voters, by a margin of 69.6 percent to 30.4 percent.

“It was paramount to do due diligence and to get the process started,” said Ingrao, who hopes to retire with the idea that the new Deputy Chief would then become the new Fire Chief.

The new search will open on Monday, Jan. 6 and run through Friday, Feb. 28, a total of eight weeks. Ingrao added that this time will be no set minimum number of applicants to move on to a review stage.

“In essence, if we have the same two people apply, we can review the applications,” he said. “It gives us a much broader ability to get applicants for the process.”

Ingrao added that a change in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2020 after the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 1049, allowing retired employees a chance to work full time while also receiving a pension. He noted that could allow a wider pool of candidates to apply for the position.

In addition, the new search will also relax residency requirements for the new Deputy Chief, allowing the successful candidate to reside within 20 minutes the district instead of needing to reside in-district. Ingrao noted this was done due to the shortage of housing opportunities on the Mountain.

After the application process, candidates are expected to be brought in for an interview process 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. The final candidate is also expected to pass various other tests, including medical, physical and psychological, as well as a background check.

The Deputy Chief position will result in 24-hour command coverage for the district and allow for faster response when multiple calls occur.

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, Feb. 28 and will not be accepted electronically.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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