Hubbard fire chief to leave at end of 2018
Changes are on the horizon for Hubbard Fire District, which will be saying goodbye to its chief at the end of the year.
Chief Steve Brewer, who was hired in November 2016, was initially going to resign effective June 30, but with the date fast approaching and no plan set for his replacement, he and the board agreed that he would stay on through the end of the year on a contract basis, the equivalent of 40 hours a month.
Additionally, the fire board's approved budget called for one full-time assistant fire chief, Michael Kahrmann, and one full-time firefighter, Diana Cruz.
In lieu of hiring another chief, the fire board is discussing options to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Woodburn Fire District.
According to Woodburn Fire Chief Joe Budge, Woodburn would be providing chief level duties to Hubbard, but no funds will be transferred. HFD would be diverting money that would go toward hiring a chief to instead hire another firefighter.
"It's a pretty big deal in terms of there being no delay in response time," Budge said.
Hubbard Fire District was recently awarded a $25,000 matching grant toward auto extrication equipment. However, the district must raise the same amount by the end of the year in order to get the grant, awarded by the Burlingham Foundation.
The total cost of the extrication package is about $65,000. These tools would last for about 15-20 years, are very lightweight and have the cutting and spreading force of nearly double of what the fire district's current set has, according to Chief Steve Brewer. The tool upgrade would also consist of stabilization struts and high pressure lifting air bags.
The current extrication sets that Hubbard Fire District operates are heavy, 12 to 15 years old and are no longer supported locally for repairs and service.
"This purchase is much needed," Brewer said. "These tools could save lives and make emergency operations more efficient and extrication times quicker."