Five vie for FD fire chief job

A veteran Fort Dodge firefighter is among five candidates still in contention to become the city’s next fire chief.

Capt. Steve Hergenreter, who has been a city firefighter since 1989, is one of the people deemed eligible for the post by the city’s Civil Service Commission.

Another candidate, Brian Nickerson, was a finalist for the post in 2010 when current Fire Chief David Luers was hired. Nickerson is a division chief and fire marshal for the Los Alamos County Fire Department in New Mexico.

The other candidates are:

Michael Heim, fire chief in West Burlington;

Kent Hulett, former chief of the Chippewa Fire District in Lake Hallis, Wis.;

George Spencer, fire chief for Yakima County Fire District No. 4 in Washington state.

One of the five will replace Luers, who will retire by the end of July. Luers has been the chief since Aug. 1, 2010. He has about 36 years of fire service experience, mostly in Burlington where he worked until coming to Fort Dodge to take the chief’s position.

The Civil Service Commission certified the five as eligible for the job after reviewing their answers to a series of essay questions on things like leadership, budgeting and communications skills.

Nine people had applied for the post.

The City Council on Monday will consider accepting the list of candidates. If the council accepts the list, City Manager David Fierke will interview them. Fierke may submit his pick for the chief’s job for council approval by the end of the month.