Fire department names assistant chief finalists

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue officials hope Islanders will turn out to meet the finalists in the department's search for an assistant chief.

The department is holding a reception on Thursday, July 23, for the community to meet the four candidates vying for the position, which is second only to the fire chief.

The event is a chance, said Fire Chief Hank Lipe, for Islanders to ask questions of the four candidates, and for department officials to see the communication skills of the potential assistant chiefs.

"The four that will be visiting fit the profile that we're looking for," Lipe said. "They were selected to come forth for the finals because we felt that their skills and experience were conducive to what the demands of the job are."

The assistant chief of operations is the chief's right-hand man, he said, responsible for day-to-day department operations including "oversight, resources and scheduling of firefighters, EMTS and paramedics, both career and volunteer."

A nationwide call was put out earlier this year for the position, and more than 30 individuals nationwide applied for the position, Lipe said. The finalists were chosen because they seemed particularly well suited to the position, he said.

One of the four finalists, Vashon's Brett Kranjcevich, is currently serving as the department's interim assistant chief of operations while the department chooses the permanent assistant chief. Kranjcevich is the department's maintenance supervisor.

Finalist Daniel Abrams of Livermore, Calif., is a captain with the fire department of Redwood City, Calif. He is also a part-time director of the fire academy at the College of San Mateo.

The third candidate, George Brown, lives in Lewiston, I.D., and is a deputy chief for the fire department in Pullman, Wash.

And Henry Clinton of Las Vegas works as a battalion chief for the city of Las Vegas' fire department.

Vashon's new assistant chief of operations will be chosen by Lipe with an endorsement by the fire board, Lipe said, after the candidates undergo two days of interviews.

The fire department will reimburse the three candidates from off-Island for their travel and accommodation costs, Lipe said.

The position, he noted, is "a critical appointment."

Meet the candidates for assistant chief from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at the Penny Farcy Memorial Training Center on Bank Road.

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