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Fire District getting closer to hiring new chief

POMEROY–The Garfield County Fire District (GCFD) Board of Commissioners held a second interview with candidate James Cleveland for Fire Chief on Tuesday, June 9, at 5 p.m. Following, the board voted to invite Cleveland for a face-to-face meeting with him and his wife, a third interview and a tour of Pomeroy. The face-to-face interview date will be set when COVID restrictions allow in-person meetings. The board voted to pay for Cleveland’s travel expenses.

Currently Cleveland lives in Ashburnham, Mass., but is originally from northern California, and has lived in northern Idaho. He is an experienced Fire Chief and a paramedic.

Since COVID restrictions has barred the grand opening of the new fire station, GCFD will host the gathering when prohibition of gatherings is lifted and can also include introduction to the new fire chief. The celebration will also honor three recent fire district retirees Reuben Breithaupt, Jim Greene and Don McGreevy.

A half payment of $1,718 was made towards the new fire station sign, designed by local artist Jim Melena. The GCFD intends to have it in place for the grand opening.

Deedee Weymouth, GCFD Board Secretary, has recently attended a conference conducted by Bryan Snure, the GCFD’s attorney, to learn more about procedures required for public entities in conducting meetings under the Open Public Meetings Act. She stated that it was “very informative” and intends to learn more from future conferences.

Interim Fire Chief Kyle Pearson reported that the GCFD has resumed training which will continue each Wednesday through July 4, 2020. Also included in his report referenced and revealed the timeline of the new ambulance. Currently final approval of the drawing will occur September 14, 2020, prior to assembling the ambulance. The intended delivery date is at the end of November.

Pearson indicated he discussed present COVID-19 protocol for firework stands with Ledgerwood and Landkammers. It is required that all employees and volunteers must wear mask and hand sanitizer must be made available. Due to the sale of PDQ, the location of Landkammers firework stand is yet to be determined.

Fire Commissioner Terry John stated the Fair Board prefers to disallow fireworks at the fairgrounds, but pending a decision by the Garfield County Commissioners, a fire truck and crew will be made available. The board decided to find out the details about where fireworks will be allowed, and what requirements must be met. Public notification of these details will be made available through the East Washingtonian. A post will be included on Facebook.

The next meeting of the GCFD will be Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 5 p.m.