Assistant Fire Chief

Lynden Fire Department

Location: Lynden, WA

City of Lynden is seeking an experienced Fire Service leader to serve as Assistant Fire Chief. For application materials please visit First consideration given to applications received by 5/27/22. Open until filled.

Our Fire Department

The Lynden Fire Department (LFD) is a combination career/volunteer fire and emergency medical response service and has served the Lynden community since 1910. The Department includes 15 FTEs, 4 Part-time, and 2 volunteers who protect the City’s 6.5 square miles. It has a $3.2 million dollar operating budget.

Over the past twenty years the City population has doubled from about 8,000 to approximately 16,000, and correspondingly the call volume to the LFD has increased from 450 to over 2,000 last year.  During this period of growth, LFD has worked to professionalize itself by implementing standards and training requirements modeled from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), while maintaining its commitment to providing the highest level of service to the community.

The Position

Under the direction of the Fire Chief, the Assistant Fire Chief performs a variety of technical, administrative and supervisory work in assisting the Fire Chief with planning, organizing, directing and implementing fire prevention, suppression and emergency medical responses. The position will also provide oversight of departmental functions including: personnel management and scheduling, fire inspections, health and safety awareness, training, and emergency services delivery and operations. 

Education & Experience

Qualified candidates will have at least an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, Public Administration or a closely related field, AND minimum of ten (10) years’ experience in the fire service WITH at least five (5) years of full-time administrative experience in an upper level position in a public safety agency. For full job description and qualifications, please visit our website.

Ideal Candidate

The Assistant Fire Chief, may fill-in for the Fire Chief, as a member of the City’s Leadership Team. As such, the successful candidate is expected to embrace and model organizational Vision and Values. Further, the successful candidate must be willing to take a broad leadership role on issues that affect not only the Fire Department but the entire organization. As a leader in this organization, this individual must hold him/herself to the highest standards of public service.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of accomplishments and leadership within the fire service. They will be an effective communicator, especially when presenting information to elected officials and the general public. Demonstrated skills in evaluating and implementing programs that enhance the department’s professionalism and solid infrastructure are essential.

Challenges & Opportunities

The Fire Department relied on volunteers from its inception more than 100 years ago until about 2009 when it became staffed predominately, but not entirely, with full-time career firefighters. The department culture is rapidly changing along with this new transition to full-time. The new Assistant Fire Chief must help and support the Fire Chief in actively guiding the Department through this transitional period.

The Lynden Fire Department enjoys a reputation as a good partner with other emergency service providers in Whatcom County. There is great potential to collaborate on training, facility sharing, and mutual/automatic aid. The new Assistant Fire Chief should be prepared to develop and foster mutually beneficial relationships.
Though still a small city, Lynden is being discovered as a very desirable place to live with an extraordinarily high quality of life. As a result, the City will grow significantly in the next 10-15 years. The new Assistant Fire Chief must be forward looking and capable of assisting the Fire Chief in developing a Strategic Plan to manage the impact this growth will have on emergency services.
Whatcom County voters have approved the addition of a 5th paramedic unit, which will be housed in the Lynden fire station. The logistics and deployment of this new resource, and the way the Paramedics from an outside agency interact with the Lynden Fire Department, will be among the issues the new Assistant Fire Chief will be asked to help plan and coordinate.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary Range: $102,895 - $134,255/year (depending on experience)

Benefits Include:
Medical/Prescription, Dental & Vision Insurance
Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (LEOFF)
Voluntary Flexible Benefits/Cafeteria Plan
Social Security replacement contribution (currently 6.2%) to Nationwide or Wa State Deferred Comp Plans
Vacation Leave
Sick Leave
Paid Holidays
Industrial Insurance
Relocation Assistance if needed

Assistant Fire Chief Position Description

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