Search will start for new fire chief |

Search will start for new fire chief

by Christy Chalmers

The East Fork Fire and Paramedic districts’ next chief could start 30 days before the current one leaves if a search goes as planned.

The Douglas County Commission authorized a personnel search Thursday after formally accepting Chief Jim Reinhardt’s resignation. Reinhardt is leaving May 19.

In a recent letter to the commission, he said he has other opportunities and thinks the time has come to turn the district over to a new manager.

“Early in my career, I made a promise to myself that I would not become the old curmudgeon fire chief everyone was glad to see go,” he told the board.

The commissioners, who have given Reinhardt high marks in his annual reviews since he was hired in 1994, praised his leadership.

“I think the county’s been blessed with your service. You’re one hell of a firefighter,” said Commissioner Don Miner. “I think you’ve done a marvelous job.”

“The fire district was at an all-time low,” added Commissioner Steve Weissinger. “The amount of good things that came out of those six years far outweigh the bad.”

Reinhardt said he is proud of the changes he has overseen and confident of his colleagues, who he called “top notch” employees that could stand up to any competition. His departure date means he will remain through the impending budget process, which will yield a spending plan for the 2000-01 budget year, which starts in July.

Reinhardt also hopes to work with his successor to further ease the transition. Commissioners said they hope to make a choice by mid-April.

Reinhardt, 49, previously worked for the Nevada Division of Forestry. He has 22 years of firefighting experience.