Even before he was officially signed on, Paul Menches hit the ground running as the new fire chief for the Holmen Area Fire Department. Menches officially became the new fire chief at the Holmen Area Fire District Association board’s Aug. 18 meeting. The board announced it selected Menches as the department’s new chief at a press conference on July 13. At that time, Menches indicated he could assume the chief duties in mid-September. However, he was able to get on board a month earlier than planned. Menches is the 12th fire chief for the department, filling the position vacated by the resignation of Chief Doug Schober last December. In the four weeks between the announcement of his selection and his official start date, Menches left the fire officers with assignments for reorganizing the department. The goals Menches set are to get organized, get standardized and then get mechanized. “In the past month, the officers and firefighters have put in a lot of hard work,” Menches said. “The firefighters’ input is important to get it right. We’ll have some mission essential standard operating procedures drafted and ready to present at the next meeting.” Under Menches’ direction, the department is working to develop an organizational chart to create two flights made up of two companies per flight for a total of four companies. The goal for the organization is to safely demonstrate the ability to deploy an effective and efficient response force. The force will include a command chief officer, an engine company with four firefighters, and a rescue/EMS squad of two responders.