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City waits for more Victoria fire chief applicants

By Sonny Long
Jan. 26, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 25, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.


RECEPTION FOR RILEYA public reception for retiring Victoria Fire Chief Vance Riley will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday at Fire Station No. 4, 2007 Salem Road. Parking is available at Parkway Church.

The city of Victoria is in no rush to hire a new fire chief, opting instead to wait for the right applicant to apply.

Among the qualifications for a new fire chief are being an excellent communicator who can perform well under pressure.

Fifteen applications have been received so far to replace Fire Chief Vance Riley, who officially retires Friday.

The city does not have a target date set on the hiring, said O.C. Garza, communications director.

"With a position as vital as fire chief, Deputy City Manager Charmelle Garrett will carefully consider the merits of every application we receive," Garza said.

Police Chief Bruce Ure has been serving as interim fire chief.

"We are very fortunate that Police Chief Ure has experience in managing fire departments and police departments," Garza said.

Among other requirements for fire chief, posted on the city's website, the candidate is required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in fire science, public or business administration, or a related field.

Also required are seven years progressively responsible experience in a paid municipal fire department, including five years as a battalion chief or equivalent.

In addition, candidates should have advanced firefighter certification and be a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Program, among other requirements.

The starting salary range is $95,000 to $100,000 depending on qualifications.

Riley, who announced his retirement plans in December, has been with the Victoria Fire Department since 1995 and headed the merging of the city's fire and EMS departments. He spent more than 30 years in the fire and emergency medical services field.

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