Niles Township begins fire chief interviews

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2004

By By Spiros Gallos / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Interviews for the open Fire Chief position by the Niles Township Board of Trustees did not start off exactly as planned.
The first of two applicants scheduled to be interviewed, Judith Hoffman of South Bend, Ind., did not show up.
The position was vacated after the former Fire Chief, Craig Lear, was removed by the board in January of 2004 after a year-long probation.
The second applicant, Brian Florey of Covert Township, arrived early with a very upbeat attitude.
Florey began fire fighting with the Buchanan Fire Department 15 years ago and worked his way up to Assistant Chief before going to Covert.
While at the Covert Township Fire Department, Florey worked as a paramedic and firefighter, eventually holding the interim Fire Chief position when the previous chief left.
Florey also served on a number of boards in Covert, helping to acquire a new engine for the department and equipment for confined space training.
The board asked Florey a number of questions evaluating his technical fire fighting skills and emergency response procedure, as well as his managerial skills.
Florey firmly believes in a "we" mentality when it comes to a crew, he said.
Florey also likes to be accessible to his crew with a self-described "open door management style," he told the board.
At the conclusion of the interview, Florey asked the Trustees what they expect of him were he to get the position.
The board told him they expected him to communicate effectively with them, his subordinates, and most importantly, people in the community.
The Trustees won't have a decision until they are comfortable that they have all the necessary information to appoint a new Fire Chief, according to Niles Township Supervisor William Myers.
Interviews for the other two applicants, John Smit of Schoolcraft at 6 p.m. and Gary Brovold of Niles at 8 p.m., will be held tonight at the Niles Township Hall.