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West County Fire Chief Search Underway, Candidates to be Reviewed

The West County EMS and Fire Protection District board is reviewing candidates, while former fire chief David Frazier Jr. tells Patch he found out he was no longer chief the day the board voted on the change.

The  is in the process of finding a new EMS and Fire Chief. Fire board members tell Patch that the application period for the local and national search ended July 27 and they hope to meet with all parties involved in the decision making process in the next week or two.

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As previously reported by Patch, former fire chief  Frazier has been with the fire district since 1987 and served as fire chief since 2004. He tells Patch he was not given an official reason from board members on why he was no longer the fire district's chief and he found out about the job change after the board voted on it.

"There was a morning meeting that day, then they notified me after that. It was a closed meeting," Frazier said. "The board made a decision to move in a different direction and I've accepted the new role and reappointment."

Fire board members didn't give Patch a clear reason either on why Frazier is no longer EMS and fire chief, but everyone Patch has talked to since the change avoids the word "demotion."

"It's just all about betterment. We're looking for betterment for this district for the future," Richard Rognan, fire board chair, told Patch this week. "Dave's well positioned as the deputy chief of logistics."

Rognan said Frazier's new role is to support the district in many different facets, including financial, building management and computer technology.

"The overall focus of the position is administrative services, working with the budget and human resources. I'll oversee those," Frazier said. "I was already doing a lot of those functions."

Meanwhile, Rognan said the fire board now moves to the "committee process" in its search for Frazier's replacement. The committee, which will review the candidates, consists of West County fire board members, chiefs of surrounding fire districts which are members of Central Country 911(including Creve Coeur, Monarch, Metro West and Maryland Heights), Town and Country Police Chief and City Administrator John Copeland and Firefighters Local 2665 Shop Steward Rich Minda.

"So they would be involved in the chief selection process," Rognan tells Patch. "We haven't made a decision. We want to do it in a committee format to make certain we get the best candidate for this district."

The committee hopes to meet within the next week or two and Rognan said the goal is to have a new fire chief in place within the next two months.

Deputy Chief Jeff Sadtler is acting fire chief of the district with the search underway. As previously reported by Patch,  Prior to that promotion, Sadtler had been with the district for five years. 

The West County fire district serves a number of cities, including Town and Country, Manchester and nearby parts of unincorporated St. Louis County. 

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