Hobart's interim fire chief steps down

2013-10-04T20:15:00Z 2013-11-06T19:52:08Z Hobart's interim fire chief steps downDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Interim Fire Chief Brian Kerr has stepped down from the position he's held for little more than three months.

Effective today, Kerr will return to his regular turn schedule and the three fire battalion chiefs will handle administrative duties, Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

Kerr, who couldn't be reached for comment, came to the mayor this past week and told him he wanted to step down from the administrative post because of a second job he wants to pursue, Snedecor said.

Kerr told Snedecor he didn't think he could do justice to the chief's position and work the second job.

"I got together with the battalion chiefs and they agreed they can handle the administrative duties," Snedecor said.

Snedecor said the move will add another firefighter to turn duty and maximize the number of fire service personnel available.

Snedecor said he doesn't expect to name a new fire chief until an ongoing review of the Fire Department is completed.

"The city of Hobart has engaged Shares Resources to study fire services and anticipates the delivery of the final report soon," Snedecor said.

Kerr served as assistant fire chief under former Fire Chief Brian Taylor.

Snedecor named Kerr acting fire chief June 30 when Taylor retired from the department to take a position with the Hobart Police Department.

Taylor, who served as fire chief for nearly three years, was sworn in as a new police officer July 1.

Hobart officials earlier this year hired a consultant to review the Fire Department in every aspect including staffing, equipment and operation.

The status of Hobart's emergency medical services has continued to be a hot issue of discussion since Jan. 9, when several city officials met with Superior Ambulance to hear a privatization proposal.

Snedecor, during a City Council meeting last spring, said he had hired a consultant to study the issue before taking any steps to remove the city service.

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