For more than a decade, the Superior Fire Department has been without an administrative second in command.
Superior’s Human Resources Committee took its first steps Monday, Nov. 15, to change that. The committee approved a job description for an assistant fire chief.
The city council allocated funding to restore the position starting in July 2022.
The city hasn’t had an assistant fire chief since 2005, when then-assistant chief Tad Matheson stepped up to serve as acting chief following the removal of former Chief Steve Gotelaere.
Matheson cut the assistant chief's position in 2006 to avoid eliminating a rank-and-file member of the fire department.
Fire Chief Scott Gordon requested the position be restored in 2022.
“What we’re trying to do is two-fold,” Gordon said. “No. 1 is the coverage model that hasn’t existed since 2006. Since then, anytime a battalion chief or the chief takes a day off, someone else of those four has to come in to fill those positions. That’s a lack of a coverage model.”
Battalion chiefs were created to respond to call-outs and manage the day-to-day operations before those positions were strapped with administrative duties, Gordon said.
“So, this will allow them to do what their job was created for,” Councilor Ruth Ludwig said of the battalion chiefs.
Gordon said in creating the job description, officials looked at the assistant police chief and battalion chiefs' job descriptions to determine what was not being covered. He said the assistant fire chief’s job description is similar to the assistant chief in the police department.