Two GI Fire Captains to Fill Newly Made Role of Shift Commander - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Two GI Fire Captains to Fill Newly Made Role of Shift Commander

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With the creation of a few new positions within the Grand Island Fire Department, two of its members have been promoted to the roles of shift commander.

Fire Chief Cory Schmidt made the announcement Wednesday that Fire Captains Scott Kuehl and Ed Carlin will start in those positions Dec. 30.

The shift commander positions, as well as a previously hired life safety inspector position, were created after an evaluation earlier this year of the department's organizational structure. The changes are aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness of the department's daily operational services.

At Schmidt's recommendation, the city council approved the creation of a life safety inspector position and three shift commander positions, as well as the elimination of three captain positions and one division chief.

In August, Kuehl and Carlin had to undergo assessments by CPS HR Consulting, a firm hired to administer, test, and measure such shift commander qualifications as management and leadership, problem solving and decision making, oral and written communication, interpersonal relations and self-management. Outside fire service experts scored the assessments.

Shift commanders will provide supervision for all shift personnel assigned to a 24 hour shift, coordinate staffing absences to ensure adequate coverage, and coordinate trainings and other activities among all four stations, among other responsibilities.

"The shift commander position has many key responsibilities on each of the three shifts and is a critical part of the Grand Island Fire Department's plan to address the growing needs of our community," said Schmidt.

Kuehl began as a firefighter and EMT with the department in 1995 and was promoted to captain in 2004. He is a qualified hazardous material technician, EMT-B, fire instructor, firefighter I, and fire safety officer. Additionally, Kuehl has an associate degree in electronics technology and had previously served as president of International Association of Fire Fighters local chapter.

Carlin started with the department in 1996 and was also promoted to captain in 2004. Carlin is a certified hazardous material technician, EMT instructor, fire instructor, firefighter I, and fire safety officer.

Schmidt said, "Scott Kuehl and Ed Carlin have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the Grand Island Fire Department and as shift commanders will help ensure that we as an organization are ready to face the challenges of the future."

The third position of shift commander will remain vacant until more testing can be done.      

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