Fire district commissioners address Okanogan chief’s position

— Fire District No. 3 commissioners will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the Okanogan area fire chief position.

Gordon Hennigs has been chief of the district’s Okanogan area and of the city department. He was fired from the city position in December by former Mayor Michael Blake.

The commission, which will meet at the Omak Fire Hall, 16 N. Ash St.

Commissioner Dave Williams said the board will address the situation as a policy issue and not as one based on an individual.

Two resolutions are proposed: One to require the district station chiefs for Omak and Okanogan be a member in good standing at their respective city fire stations and another that those two district chiefs be the city fire chiefs for those jurisdictions.

He said the board will likely reinforce its relationship with the city of Okanogan by verifying that all of the district assets and resources will be available, as allowed by law, to assist the city in any fire or life safety response.

“This protects the citizens, which is the reason we exist,” he said.

Firefighters in the city department

Firefighter Budd Featherly delivered an ultimatum to the City Council last week that the fire crew wants the chief’s position to be full time and Hennigs to be reinstated as chief.

If those conditions aren’t met in 60 days, “we will find it hard to continue services for the council,” he said.

See the full story in the Jan. 22 print edition of The Chronicle.

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