Fire chief interviews to be held next week

Three men will interview for the fire chief position next week.

James Larsen, of Hampshire, Ill., David Rierson, of Kansas City, Mo., and Peter Smith, of Frankfort, Ill., are the three finalists who will interview for the position on Monday and Tuesday.

Mayor Jim Lowrance said three panels made up of him and Randy Wetmore, personnel from the fire department and council members and department heads, will interview the candidates.

After they meet with the panels, fire chiefs from around the state will do a formal assessment of the candidates, Lowrance said.

“Assessments are interesting because they do the technical aspects like what to look for,” the mayor said.

Wetmore said he hopes to have a name to bring forward to the city council members no later than their second meeting in September.

Larsen currently works at the U.S. Fire Administration and is a contract instructor at the National Fire Academy in the Executive Fire Officer program. He has also been the deputy chief of operations for the Glenside Fire Protection District, a battalion chief/EMS division chief for the Hanover Park Fire Department and was a firefighter-paramedic/fire investigator for the Hampshire Fire Protection District.

Rierson currently is the division chief for training and EMS for the Southern Platte Fire Protection District. He was also the battalion chief and captain for the City of Gladstone Fire/EMS.

Smith is the deputy fire chief for the Town of Cicero Fire Department. At the Cicero Fire Department, he has also been an assistant fire chief, a fire lieutenant and a firefighter.

This will be the second time the city has went through a hiring process to find a fire chief to take the place of former Marshalltown Fire Chief Steve Edwards who retired Sept. 26, 2013. Scott Johnson is currently the acting fire chief. He applied for the position last fall. He did not reapply during this process.

The hiring salary of the fire chief will be $79,000 to $94,000 based on qualifications and experience.