Hobart mayor closer to selecting new fire chief

2013-12-27T20:00:00Z 2013-12-27T21:56:41Z Hobart mayor closer to selecting new fire chiefDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Mayor Brian Snedecor is moving closer to selecting a new fire chief.

Snedecor said he and a committee interviewed two prospective candidates last week and are now seeking additional written information.

"I gave them some additional questions to expound on, including the budget and personnel staffing. I have told them to respond back to me by Jan. 6," Snedecor said.

The two in-house candidates Snedecor interviewed are Lt. Chris Curdes and Lt. Scott O'Kelley.

"The interviews went well. They both did a good job," Snedecor said.

The written response from the two men will help in making a final selection, Snedecor said.

"The candidate selected as new chief will have to have a combination of administration abilities, firefighter abilities and leadership abilities to move the department forward and he will also have to have the ability to work with city officials and the union," Snedecor said.

Initially there had been five fire chief candidates, but three had withdrawn their applications, including Battalion Chief John Wall, who remains hospitalized after crashing his car into his former Hebron home.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