Hobart council OKs hiring outside department

2013-12-24T14:30:00Z 2013-12-27T15:28:05Z Hobart council OKs hiring outside departmentDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Mayor Brian Snedecor hopes to fill the vacant fire chief position with someone from within the department.

But if that isn't possible, Snedecor said he doesn't want to waste time waiting for the City Council to reconvene after the first of the year.

"I'd like to fill the position in a timely fashion and keep us on course," Snedecor said.

It was with a time schedule in mind the City Council approved a measure allowing Snedecor to hire from outside the department.

The ordinance limited the mayor to naming a fire chief from the department's current members. That individual also must be a ranking officer and have at least five years of experience on the department.

"My hope is to hire someone from within," Snedecor said.

Snedecor, as part of a committee, interviewed two candidates from within the department on Friday.

Initially there had been five candidates, but three had withdrawn their applications, including Battalion Chief John Wall, who remains hospitalized after crashing his car into his former Hebron home.

Tom Castle, president of Hobart Firefighters Local 1641, said he's confident the mayor will find someone from within the department.

The 45-member department has been without a fire chief or assistant fire chief for several months.

Interim Fire Chief Brian Kerr stepped down in early October after holding the position for about three months.

Kerr returned to his regular turn schedule, and the three fire battalion chiefs were named to handle administrative duties, Snedecor said.

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