Jeremy Likens became full time officially the first of April. “I’m the first one in history,” stated Likens who is not only the first full time fire chief, but also the first full-time firefighter for the department.
His position is definitely that of a working chief as he is the only one scheduled at the station from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are times when other firefighters are on station, guys who work third shift and give of their time to the department.
“Being here during business hours is working out great,” said Likens noting he is busy, very busy.
Prior to the full time position, individuals wanting to talk to the fire chief or someone in the department about various matters could call the fire department’s business number and leave a message. One of the officers would return the call but it would be the following day, or evening as they all had full-time jobs. Now Likens is on station, unless he is responding to a call, to answer questions immediately. He also has the time to take care of the administrative tasks a fire chief is responsible for — the financial side, as well as maintenance.
Now at the station during regular business hours, Likens can work on truck maintenance, upkeep on the dry hydrants, maintenance on small engines and other tasks that would have normally had to be handled after another job or on nights and weekends which left little time for family.
In the position, Likens is also able to keep up with the changing demands in the fire service and
the paperwork required. “I have assistant chiefs and so forth but they work full-time jobs and have
families, and it’s after 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. before they are available. Who can you talk to business wise after 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.?” he explained.
Likens noted many times when the truck bay doors are open, people will stop in and ask questions. The phone calls are continuous.
Of the decision to appoint a full-time fire chief, Likens said, “We saw the need and were able to provide the service. I was lucky I could be able to do that.”