The recent retirement of longtime McPherson Assistant Fire Chief Rick Unruh has forced the department to undergo some shifts in organization.
Fire Chief Jeff Deal said the current organizational layout for department personnel is no longer applicable.
“We do not have anyone currently in-house that can be promoted to the assistant chief position,” Deal said, “because the organizational chart just does not allow for the elevation for individuals to that ranking position.”
The department will do away with the assistant fire chief position under a new organization chart approved Tuesday by the McPherson City Commission. In its place will be a Deputy Fire Chief and two new division captains. One of those division chiefs will be responsible for training and operations within the fire department, while the other will handle inspection and maintenance issues.
“These would be subordinate division chief positions at what I consider a mid-level within the organization,” Deal said, “that can be eventually developed and prepared to be promoted to that deputy chief position, hopefully within in a couple of years.”
Deal did say the department will not fill the deputy chief position for those two years while they development personnel internally to potentially take over that job.
In the meantime, Deal and the two division captains will split those duties among themselves.