Wash. fire chief, assistant chief abruptly resign posts

Fire officials said neither gave an official reason for their resignation.

The Chronicle

NAPAVINE, Wash. — The Napavine Fire Department is without a fire chief after Eric Linn, who was hired in June 2009, abruptly quit earlier this month, according to Jamie Guenther, commissioner for Fire District Five.

The district’s fire commissioners anticipate hiring a new chief. They are currently developing a hiring process to fill that position, Guenther said. In the meantime, the commissioners are looking to hire one firefighter/EMT on a part-time basis to help fill the void left by Linn.

“In addition, our volunteers are committed to the patrons of District 5 and (are) helping alleviate any staffing shortfalls that we have incurred with the Chief’s resignation,” Guenther wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “We do not anticipate any drop in response times or levels of service.”

Linn was hired by the department on a two-year contract that began on June 9, 2009, according to Guenther. His contract was extended in 2009 to have an expiration of June 1, 2016.

Linn was the sixth chief to work for Fire District 5 in the past 10 years, he said.

Linn submitted a letter of resignation to Guenther on March 3, the fire commissioner said. The assistant fire chief, Jeff Lee, also quit that same day but has not yet given the commissioners a formal resignation letter. Lee had been hired on a part-time basis in December 2013.

While Linn’s contract requires he give the district 60 days notice, Linn chose to take two months of accrued leave, which makes his official resignation date May 3, Guenther said.

Guenther said neither Lee or Linn gave an official reason for their resignations.

Linn received a salary of $82,000 per year, and his medical insurance cost the district approximately $19,600 per year, according to Guenther.

The assistant chief was earning $600 per month on a part-time basis.

The fire district has 15 volunteers and four paid staff members, according to Guenther.

The 66-square-mile coverage area of Fire District 5 serves approximately 10,000 people.

The fire commissioners meet on the second and fourth Thursday of every month in the district training center in downtown Napavine.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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