Scott Williams has been appointed acting Fire Chief, with Chad Kimple acting as Assistant Fire Chief.
At a regular meeting of the Orcas Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners on April 18, commissioners Jim Coffin and Wesley Heinmiller appointed Williams and Kimple as acting Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief. Commissioner Barbara Bedell was off island, therefore was not in attendance at the meeting.
Williams has spent the three years he has lived on Orcas island working as a paramedic/firefighter with OIFR. He has been a paramedic and firefighter for 15 years. Prior to moving to Orcas, Williams worked in both Montana and Florida as a paramedic/firefighter.
Before becoming a firefighter, Williams worked as a personal trainer in hospital based wellness centers.
“I had aspirations to be in some kind of medical career,” said Williams. “[Working for a] fire department just fit… I really see the value in an agency that performs both [medical and fire].”
That was part of the appeal of Orcas to Williams, he says he prefers to work with departments like OIFR which has dual designation performing of paramedic services and firefighting.
As for the position of fire chief, Williams is not letting it go to his head.
“I want to make sure things go well,” said Williams. “It’s a great opportunity to support the department and be a part of the machine that includes everybody. We’re a team and it’s taking everybody to be positive. It’s nice to still be a part of that and maybe have a role in making a good future [for OIFR].”
Williams will serve as acting Fire Chief until a permanent Fire Chief is hired. The process to find a new Fire Chief may take a few months if the commissioners choose to have OIFR conduct the search itself. Should the commissioners choose to hire a recruiting agency to find a new chief, the process would be much quicker. The board has not decided which option they will be pursuing at this time.