The Johnson City Fire Department is back to square one in the selection process for an assistant fire chief, but the top administrator believes it won’t take long to fill the slot.
The position has been vacant since April 2013 when Mark Finucane retired. The process to replace him was moving along, then hit a number of stumbling blocks that left the chute empty.
Three captains were eliminated from the process after one violated a department policy in regards to his driver’s license and the other two failed the written test for the job. That prompted Chief Mark Scott to start looking at firefighters in the lieutenant position, which would be a first in the department’s history.
Two of those lieutenants who were in the running have decided they don’t want the job.
“A lot of it has to do with the working hours on day shift,” Scott said. A straight 40-hour week is much different from the 15 days a month firefighters work on their 24-hour rotating schedules.
But Scott said Wednesday that he’s confident there is a qualified candidate within the department ranks.
“I think there’s some renewed interest within the department; ... I think we’ll fill it pretty rapidly,” he said.
Scott will have to approach the Civil Service Board this week for direction on how to conduct testing for the position.
“I’m energetic about getting this done. I think the department is ready to fill this and move on. This is a difficult position and you have a lot of people under you,” Scott said.
The entire process has been a “learning experience for us as well as the candidates. It’s been positive ... we’re still looking for the best fit for the job. I think we’ll soon have that.”
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