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Chiefland taps new fire chief

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By Jeff M. Hardison

After the interviews of three candidates for Chiefland Fire Chief on Oct. 23 and 25, interim Chief John Ward was the only man who passed the test enough for a background check to be performed on him.

Therefore, after the 5 p.m. start of the Nov. 13 meeting of the Chiefland City Commission, Ward is most likely to be named as chief. The pay range is between $34,648 and $41,200.

Christopher Thomas of Clearwater had most of the qualifications required, except that he has been inactive since 2005 when he suffered a back injury and retired from the Dunedin Fire Rescue Department.

"I can't jump off and fight fires any more," Thomas said.

Chiefland City Commissioner J. Rollin Hudson Jr. said after the interview the department requires a working fire chief to be able to fight fires as well as manage the budget, recruit volunteers and direct operations.

The only other contender was David Knowles of Hawthorne. Commissioner Teresa Barron said she saw him as a possible future fire chief too, because he had the experience, education and training.


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