Medina board discusses qualifications desired in next fire chief

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 August 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Will Medina’s next fire chief have at least 8 years of experience as a career firefighter or 10 years?

Will the chief have at least 2 years in a supervisory role, as a captain or perhaps an assistant chief?

Should the Village Board insist the next chief be required to live in the village?

These are some of the criteria the board is debating as it gears up to fill the fire chief position. Todd Zinkievich has retired from the position, effective Sept. 28. Michael Maak, a captain with the department, is the current officer in charge.

Trustee Marguerite Sherman wants to see how other fire departments with paid staff have filled the chief’s position. She said insisting on at least 2 years experience as a captain could prevent potential outstanding candidates from applying.

Trustee Michael Sidari said at least 2 years experience in the captain’s or deputy chief’s role should be a requirement for the next chief.

“I want someone with leadership experience,” Sidari said at Monday’s Village Board meeting. “It’s hard to go from being a firefighter to leading a department.”

Sidari said fire departments structure their leadership in different ways. Medina, for example, doesn’t have an assistant chief or lieutenant position. It has two captains: Michael Maak and Jonathan Higgins.

Village Board members said they would continue to discuss minimum qualifications for the fire chief, including a valid intermediate EMT card.

The fire chief leads 13 paid firefighters and a roster of call men that respond to about 3,000 calls a year.

In other fire department news, the board declared a 1977 pumper truck as surplus. That truck has been out of service for about a decade and is currently stored in Knowlesville at the Ridgeway fire station. Maak said he thinks it could fetch at least $2,000.

The board also accepted the resignation from R.J. Morgan as a call man and removed Albert Thompson from the call men roster. He is in the Navy.