The Chino Valley Fire District's Governing Board held a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, where they approved Battalion Chiefs Mat Mayhall, Buddy Woodhurst, and Allen Harris to assume chief duties until the board hires a new full-time chief.
The decision came after the board was unable to agree on an interim candidate from the five finalists of nearly 30 candidates who applied following the Jan. 4 retirement of longtime CVFD chief John Ginn.
The board met in a special meeting on Feb 4 but was deadlocked 2-2 on accepting the final candidate.
Saying they were "at an impasse," board chairman Rich Force said the board's top priority was to fill the interim role so the focus could be placed on hiring a permanent replacement for Ginn.
"We met with legal council, and re-interviewed one candidate, but couldn't agree," said board member Gary Warren. "This decision allows our battalion chiefs to make decisions that they need to, decisions that will keep the district running smooth until the new chief is hired."
According to Warren, some of the decisions that will fall on Mayhall, Woodhurst, and Harris will be the day-to-day operations, including scheduling of training, and purchase and maintenance orders.
"These are just some of the things that need to be done to make sure our equipment is maintained, our guys are safe, and they all stay up to speed on their certifications," said Warren. "This move also allows the district to save the money that would have been spent by bringing in an outside interim." Warren said that cost could have amounted to $20,000 or more, depending on how long the search for a full-time chief would take.
During the Feb. 4 meeting, the board voted to award CPS HR Consulting of Sacramento, Calif., the contract to recruit the new chief. That search is expected to take from three to six months.