Jefferson City Fire looks internally for new chief

Officials say 8 Jefferson City firefighters have applied to be fire chief.

Jefferson City officials said Thursday the city will look internally for its next fire chief but did not rule out an external search.

City Administrator Steve Crowell told the committee tasked with finding a new fire chief the job posting was kept internal to see who might qualify. Eight Jefferson City firefighters have applied to head the department, but Crowell said the committee could look outside Jefferson City. Former city councilman Dan Klindt, who was selected to chair the committee at Thursday afternoon's meeting, told KRCG 13 the committee would look for outside candidates if it did not feel any of the applicants fit the position. Officials would not release the current list of candidates, citing state law dealing with personnel records.

Crowell said he would let committee members decide how they want to conduct the interview process, what qualities they want to look for and how much time they want to spend before making a decision. Joplin fire chief Mitch Randels, who is also serving on the committee, told members he has gone through interview processes that have included interviews with separate panels of citizens, firefighters and city department heads. Although the job posting asked for a mix of administrative and technical firefighting skills, Randels suggested the committee give more weight to a candidate's ability to manage a fire department.

"If you see me on a fire hose, that means we're in trouble," he said.

The search committee expects to plan out its interview process and timeline next week.