The Clark County Fire District 6 Board of Commissioners appointed an employee of two decades to take the reins as fire chief next year — serving among only 50 female fire chiefs nationwide.
Kristan Maurer will become fire chief Jan. 1, according to a Fire District 6 blog post. The district’s website indicates that Maurer is already serving as one of two assistant chiefs. Current Fire Chief Jerry Green and Assistant Chief Shawn Newberry will begin to implement a transition plan starting in September.
Green is retiring at the end of the year. He has been the fire chief for more than a decade.
Maurer has spent her 20 years at the fire district moving up the ranks and improving procedures, the blog post says. Her contributions have been both administrative and operational. She streamlined how hoses are loaded onto fire engines, and planned the land acquisition and construction of the new Station 63 at 1119 N.E. 136th St. Construction started around Labor Day 2018, and it is expected to open Oct. 24. The station will also have a training tower that is scheduled to be completed in February.
Maurer completed the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy, and has a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration and a master’s degree in public administration.
“I wasn’t looking for any fire chief position: I was looking to become the fire chief of Clark County Fire District 6. This district has invested in me, and I feel fortunate to return that investment,” Maurer said, according to the blog post.
There are 14,000 female firefighters nationwide, which makes up about 5 percent of the entire profession, according to the fire district.
Maurer will be coming into the position as the fire district undergoes a number of changes. Fifty percent of the district’s administrative staff is reportedly new; the executive board of the firefighter’s union is newly elected.
The soon-to-be chief said the size of the department lends itself well to change, as does the support it gets from the community. The district serves Hazel Dell, Lake Shore, Felida, Salmon Creek, the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds and Mount Vista, a 67-square-mile area with a population of about 67,000 residents.
The district currently employs 53 career firefighters, 23 volunteers, four chief officers and six support staff, Maurer said in an email.
In 2017, the fire district responded to 7,114 calls for service. Last year, it responded to 7,196 calls and is on track to exceed that number this year, Maurer said.