With the recent retirement of Fire Chief David Shepherd, the Mayor and Interim City Administrator presented the City Council with a concept to fill the position through a partnership with Jackson County Fire District 3. The concept was formally presented at the September 15, 2020 Council Business Meeting and was brought forward to Council again on November 2, 2020 that included the final candidate to fill the position.
The use of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Fire District 3 is designed to accomplish the following:
- Provide the City with leadership staffing flexibility to fully engage and evaluate the potential for different operating structures for both the fire operations and the ambulance service;
- Provide joint review and selection with another leading Fire service in the region;
- Provide the City with a rising mid-career leader with extensive knowledge and experience in both EMS and Fire operations; and
- Engage and forward exploration of regional partnerships to strengthen local and regional fire and emergency services.
Key provisions of the IGA include the following:
- The contract term is three years, with stated opportunities for extension, alteration or termination.
- The total employment cost for the position is equivalent to the current Ashland Fire and Police Chiefs.
- The appointed Fire Chief would report to the Ashland City Administrator/Manager and carry out the policy directives of the Ashland City Council.
Council approved both the IGA concept and the Mayor’s appointment of Division Chief Devon Brown from Klamath Fire District 1. Jackson County Fire District 3 Board of Directors also approved the IGA. After further discussion and consideration, Division Chief Brown chose to remain with Klamath Fire District 1.
Through this process, Acting Fire Chief Ralph Sartain, has stepped in and is providing strong management leadership to the professional and dedicated staff of Ashland Fire & Rescue.
The Mayor and Interim City Administrator would like to thank Division Chief Brown for considering leading Ashland Fire & Rescue as its Fire Chief and will develop additional options for filling the Ashland Fire Chief position through continued collaboration with Fire District 3 and other regional fire service partners, as well as with Ashland Firefighter Union leadership.