With retirement of EMS chief, department embraces chain of command protocol
After 30 years with the Saukville Fire Department, Sherri Kirsch is stepping down as the department’s emergency medical services division chief on Monday, Nov. 2.
In anticipation of the vacancy, Fire Chief Gilly Schultz has been working with an organizational planning committee to revamp how the department operates.
That committee includes Police Chief Jeff Goetz, Emergency Management Director Jack Morrison, and village trustees Mike Krocka and Dave Maglio.
One of the recommendations of the committee is that the department create a more structured chain of command, with three assistant chiefs — support chief, operations chief and EMS chief — reporting to the fire chief.
“That will remove me from having to handle some of the personnel issues that were taking up a lot of my time,” Schultz said.
The committee also endorsed a procedure instituted by the department two years ago of having the chiefs from two neighboring fire departments and the village administrator review the resumes of candidates for captain posts.
“In the past, those positions were filled by votes of the membership and it often got to be little more than a popularity contest,” Schultz said.
“The outside chiefs look at the qualifications of the candidates and then make a recommendation to me.”
He said there are a couple in-house candidates being considered to fill Kirsch’s position.
“I think it is going to be a six-month process. We may try them each in the position for three months or assign one to days and one to nights,” Schultz said.
“When you are working with volunteers, even though they are paid, what is most important is how they are able to work with people. They will get a chance to demonstrate that before I make a recommendation for Sherri’s position.”