CPUD to Appoint Fire Cheif Position for Chester Fire Dept. in Closed Session


A new fire chief may be stepping into the challenged Chester Fire Department. Rifts among the department and Interim fire chief Waterman following the Chester Public Utility District’s firing of Chief Lane has spurred a series of conflicts among board members, the department, and community members. This followed the debacle of the department losing its insurance and facing the threat of shutting down operations back in April.

To further the conflict the fire department has had to pack their bags a second time and move from their new central Main street location back into their old facility by the Chester airport, a move initiated by former chief Lane to improve response times and was welcomed by the community.

Yet CPUD Interim General Manager Adam Cox said the move was to consolidate resources. Cox said the original move was unexpected and surrounded by internal issues, adding the building was not up to par and could not supply proper support for the department’s services. Cox offered recognition that the Chester community is concerned about future response times. Yet, says the department responds more to EMS service calls than to fires, and relocating back to the headquarters on Airport Rd would enable a quicker response to those types of calls.

This evening under closed session CPUD will make a public employee appointment for the permanent position of Fire Chief. Whether that will be Waterman or a new applicant will be determined. The board meets at 5:30 at their chambers on Chester Airport Road.