And judging by the way board members spoke earlier this week while hashing out a job description, it looks like Brian Sipe, currently the deputy chief of operations for the Spring Lake Township Fire Department, is the frontrunner for the job.
Sipe; Jim Koster, deputy chief of administration; and John Stalzer, deputy chief of training, have been the trio heading up the department since Rick Nuvill retired in February as fire chief.
Township Supervisor John Nash said the long-term plan was always to hire one chief. Nash said Sipe, who has been with the township for 14 years and also serves as fire marshal and an EMT, could very well be that man.
“Brian has done a very good job, and has the educational background and is part of our department," Nash said. "I would be surprised if he's not the one, but it's not a done deal.”
Nash said he expects the board to vote on a candidate at its Dec. 9 meeting. However, it is possible the township could advertise for the position, he added.
“The three deputies were kind of an interim plan between having Rick as a chief and having to do something in between,” Nash said. “There was resistance on the board for full-time fire personnel. The three deputy chiefs worked all right, but it really works better to have one person in that place.”
Township Manager Gordon Gallagher also said the new chief will likely be promoted from within the department.
“I would like to see it happen internally from our deputies,” Gallagher said. “There will be a process, but I would anticipate we would look internally. We've also promoted several folks to officers. We now have a full contingent of fire officers.”
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