OIFR board appoints Chad Kimple as Acting Fire Chief

Submitted by Orcas Fire and Rescue.

Chad Kimple has been appointed acting fire chief for Orcas Fire and Rescue.

The San Juan County Fire Protection District #2 Board of Fire Commissioners held its regular meeting on July 1. The Board’s agenda included a discussion of operations and a discussion pertaining to the fire chief vacancy. The board was pleased to announce that Fire Marshal Chad Kimple, a previous employee of the district and current volunteer firefighter, had reached out to offer his services as the interim chief.

The board of three — Chair Brian Ehrmantraut, Randy Gaylord and Kate Hansen — decided on a list of interview questions and the chair allowed Kimple to address them. The room was filled with community members, current and former staff and volunteers of OIFR. Kimple is well known in the department and has held many roles with OIFR since he was 16 years old as a cadet.

After a 30-minute executive session, most of which the applicant, Kimple, was present to discuss his qualifications for employment, the board returned to the open meeting. With few further remarks, a motion to immediately name Kimple the Acting Fire Chief was approved. The board members welcomed Kimple to join them at the front of the room for the remainder of the meeting.

Kimple is a lifelong resident of Orcas Island. He holds an associate’s degree in fire science from Columbian Southern University. He began his fire service career path in 2002 in high school with Orcas Island Fire and Rescue.

In the summer of 2005, he worked with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter. In 2006, Kimple became a part-time employee of OIFR and became a full-time response Lieutenant in 2008.

Kimple rose from volunteer FF/EMT to career Captain Duty Officer of D Shift. During this time, he has worked as a training Officer and health and safety officer and handled apparatus maintenance and many other roles, including acting assistant chief.

In 2021, Kimple switched careers from OIFR to San Juan County as the Fire Marshal. He reviews all permitting and performs plan reviews, conducts Fire and Life Safety Inspections, Administers the Burn Permit Program, and is a WA State Certified Fire Investigator.