Career Opportunity – Fire Chief

The City of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, is accepting applications to fill the position of Fire Chief.  The Fire Chief is responsible for the administration, direction and coordination of the Black River Falls Fire Department which includes an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division.  The City of Black River Falls has a population of 3,622 and has signed a Rural Fire Agreement to provide fire services to the Rural Fire District consisting of eight (8) surrounding Townships.

The Department

The Fire Department has 6 full-time employees, 30-50 part-time emergency medical services employees, and 31 volunteer firefighters. Full-time staff includes the Fire Chief, the EMS Division Chief, and 4 Emergency Medical Technicians.  The volunteer firefighter staff includes 3 Assistant Chiefs, 3 Captains, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

The city portion of the 2020 Operating Budget for the department is set at $115,693.00.  The 2020 Capital Budget for the department is set at $250,000.00 which includes $242,600 allocated for facility replacement.

The Position

The Fire Chief has administrative responsibility for effectively and efficiently planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and managing operations, fleet maintenance, and all other activities of the Fire Department.

The Fire Chief is under the immediate supervision of the City Administrator, and subject to general direction from the Mayor, and Common Council.  A detailed position description is available at City Hall and on-line at Forms.

The Chief is an exempt, non-represented employee. The normal work week is Monday through Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm.  The Fire Chief is also expected to attend the Committee of the Whole meeting held the third Wednesday of each month and other meetings as needed.  The position requires working varying hours as needed for fire department related business and activities.

The position’s annual salary is initially established by the City of Black River Falls Hiring Committee and then annually established by the Common Council.  The starting annual salary for the position will be $52,000 – $60,000 depending on qualifications.

An excellent benefit package including health insurance coverage and retirement benefits under the Wisconsin Retirement System accompanies this position. Additional benefits and optional insurances are available.

Required Education, Certifications, and Experience

The Fire Chief must have a high school diploma or equivalent, possess a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, hold current certification of Certified Firefighter I & II in the State of Wisconsin, be a certified fire inspector in the State of Wisconsin, be a certified Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician or higher or be able to obtain EMT certification within one year of hire, and have extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of fire suppression, fire department administration, fire inspections and fire investigations.  Preference will be given to an individual with an Associate’s Degree or higher in fire science or related field, and/or additional training or certifications in fire services and management/supervisory skills.

The successful candidate should have at least 10 years of fire service experience with multiple years serving in a supervisory/department officer position.

The ideal candidate for this position should also have a track record focused on strong public service, human relations, leadership, managerial, and supervisory skills. This professional, supervisory position must be able to lead the department to full performance capability and achieve high morale. Qualified candidates should possess the skills for writing grant application submissions & organizing people, projects and schedules on an ongoing basis.

The Recruitment Process

Interested applicants MUST submit the following items to the address noted below:

  • A cover letter
  • A current resume, detailing qualifications for this position
  • At least 3 professional references

The application deadline is 4:30 P.M. on Friday, June 5, 2020.    The application review process will begin on June 9, 2020 and will remain open until the position is filled.

Application materials should be placed in a sealed envelope, addressed as follows, and either mailed or hand-delivered by the deadline noted above to:

City of Black River Falls
Attention: Hiring Committee
101 South Second Street
Black River Falls, WI 54615

Electronic submissions are acceptable and may be forwarded to

Applicant names are subject to release pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes, unless confidentiality is requested in writing. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed for finalists.

The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation, a physical examination, drug screen, and a psychological evaluation to determine fitness for duty.

Additional questions on this position or on application procedures may be directed to City Administrator via email at or by phone at (715) 284-2315.