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New Kitsap County Fire Chief starts August 1
Kitsap County Fire and Rescue chose its new fire chief, and although he is a newcomer to the area, he is expected to bring a wealth of experience and education with him.
The new chief, Scott Weninger, served as deputy fire chief who is departing Clackamas Fire District No.1 In Milwaukie, Ore. He, will replace departing KCFR Chief Roy Lusk on Aug 1.
Weninger was chosen after months of searching following Lusk's retirement notice.
CKFR hired Emergency Services Consulting International from Wilsonville, Ore.to conduct the search and the firm came back with 25 candidates for the position. Of those 25, CKFR commissioners narrowed the choice down to three candidates.
Fire district commissioner Bob Muhleman said Weninger was chosen on the basis of everything he could bring to the position.
“Of the final three we selected, he was our first choice,” Muhleman said. “It was a difficult decision, but it was a unanimous decision of the board. We felt he had skills, education and experience for the position.”
Weninger began his career in 1980 as a volunteer firefighter the day after he graduated and joined the fire department in Redland, Ore. as a volunteer.
He continued to serve in multiple departments as firefighter ant emergency medical technician until 1987 when he began working for the Clackamas Fire District where he eventually ascended to the position of deputy chief.
While serving, Weninger also earned degrees in fire service and administration and business and also graduated from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program.
Weninger said that although he is new to the area, he hails from a district similar to Central Kitsap in many ways such as geography, equipment and software used and he will be able to bring that experience with him as well.
“Clackamas Fire District 1 is twice as big, but it is identical in organization,” he said. “It is eerie how similar they are.”
Departing Fire Chief Roy Lusk said he also felt Weninger had a lot to offer the district including a personable nature.
“I have met Scott and he seems like a very nice individual,” he said. “He has a lot of the characteristics to make a great fire chief.”
Muhleman said Weninger will face his fair share of challenges in his new position, but he has confidence in his abilities.
“We have many challenges ahead of us including reduced revenue,” he said. “We are having to make cuts in our budget and still maintain the level of service we provide.”
Weninger said he understands the challenges, and he looks forward to working with everyone in the district to build upon an already great organization.
“The key will be communications with the professional and volunteer firefighters, the board of directors and the community and everyone involved,” he said. “As a group, we will be making decisions and we will work together to set priorities and move ahead.”
Weninger said he looks forward to making Central Kitsap home. He said he has visited and enjoys the natural beauty of the area and the people he has met.
“I have seen the area before, and I just fell in love with it,” he said. “I have always wanted to live in the area.”