Grand Island has been without a fire chief for almost a year. After two interim fire chiefs Mayor Jay Vavricek has recommended Grand Island Fire Captain Cory Schmidt.
Schmidt hails from Saint Paul, Neb. but will the local guy get the nod from the Grand Island City Council?
"When the vacancy opened up about a year ago I saw that as my chance to test for fire chief so I took advantage of that opportunity," said Schmidt.
Around 5 p.m. on Friday Schmidt received the call from Mayor Vavricek choosing him as the choice to be the next fire chief.
"It's been a goal I've had for quite a while and it finally came true. It's kind of a surreal moment. I was very happy but realize there's quite a few challenges ahead so almost a little scary at times. It's something I'm really looking forward to," said Schmidt.
Schmidt's been working with the Grand Island Fire Department since he was 22 years old after he got out of the Air Force. Schmidt says that experience might have swayed Mayor Vavricek into choosing him as the right candidate.
"I'm sure it did help being from the Grand Island Fire Department. I know the area I know the community and have a good working relationship with most of the people here. And I also understand the unique challenges and problems that are facing us here," said Schmidt.
One challenge may be the man who is putting Schmidt's name in the ring, Mayor Vavricek is possibly facing a recall. But Schmidt says that shouldn't matter because even fire chiefs from Lincoln and Omaha recommended him.
"This is not any one person's opinion so I think I'm in pretty good shape," said Schmidt.
Schmidt will go in front of the Grand Island City Council on Tuesday for a vote on whether or not he will be the next fire chief.
If Schmidt does get the position he will start Oct 1.