City now hiring Fire/EMS Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator

The City of Fort Atkinson (12,489) is a vibrant community located along the Rock River, a few miles upstream from Lake Koshkonong, in Jefferson County. It prides itself as being the largest city in Jefferson County and was developed at the former site of Fort Koshkonong which was used during the 1832 Black Hawk War. Fort Atkinson’s name is derived from the original fort and General Henry Atkinson, who oversaw the U.S. Forces during the war. Fort Atkinson is known best as the home of the Fireside Dinner Theatre, which presents professional Broadway musicals year-round along with fine dining, boutique shops and other attractions. You can explore the city’s rich heritage by visiting the many cultural sites including the historic downtown, the Panther Intaglio, the Dwight Foster Public Library, the Hoard Historical Museum and National Dairy Shrine, and more. With the scenic Rock and Bark Rivers meandering through town, residents and visitors alike can enjoy the water by boat, canoe, or along the riverwalk which connects to the Glacial River Bike/Pedestrian Trail for easy adventuring. From activities and attractions, to fairs and festivals, the city provides a warm, inviting atmosphere to enjoy. Fort Atkinson is a Council-Manager form of government with five council members who are elected at large in a non-partisan setting and an appointed City Manager, who runs the day-to-day operations. The City provides a complete municipal service profile like many stand-alone communities in southcentral Wisconsin. Fort Atkinson covers an area of 5.8 square miles. The City is seeking professional leaders as qualified applicants for the position of Fire/EMS Chief who also serves as the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator.
Fort Atkinson Fire Department
  • The Fire/EMS Department is made up of 16-full-time staff (Chief, three Division Chiefs, twelve new line personnel) and twenty-nine paid-on-call firefighters and EMTs. 
  • In addition to serving the City, the department provides fire and EMS services to portions of the following five townships: Koshkonong, Jefferson, Oakland, Sumner, and Hebron.
  • In 2021, the city completed construction of the fire station addition and renovation. The project reached completion slightly over the projected budget of $5.5 million. The facility has room for growth in staffing and services and will serve the community for many years into the future. 
  • As a paid-on-call Department, it experienced a significant increase in call volume and exceeded five hundred emergency responses in 2021 for the first time in department history. Additionally, in 2021 and 2022 the Department experienced more than twenty-five structure fires resulting in three fire-related deaths and more than $4 million dollars in property loss.
  • In 2023, the Department transitioned to a combination full-time and paid-on-call department, assumed the responsibility for full EMS 911 response, which will also impact the demand for services.
  • The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Fund is used to track all revenues and expenditures associated with the provision of 911 emergency medical services, including 50% of the twelve full time Firefighter/Paramedics and Firefighter/EMT-As hired in late 2022. Revenues in the fund include billing for the ambulance service provided by the Fire Department, contract revenue from the Towns of Koshkonong, Jefferson, Oakland, Sumner, and Hebron, EMS funding from the state, and miscellaneous donations.
  • The department portion of the 2022 – 2026 capital reserve budget includes apparatus, computers, turn-out ensembles, small equipment and tools, mobile and portable radios, and extrication equipment.
  • The Fire Department budget is $2,072,350 for the current fiscal year.
Successful candidates must demonstrate:
  • A transformative approach to leadership that is energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate for both the city and the organization focusing on helping every member of the department. 
  • The ability to be a servant leader putting the needs of the personnel first, helping them to develop and perform as highly as possible, meeting the goals and objectives of the city and the fire department.
  • An inclusive leadership approach that provides the ability for the staff of the department to be valued participants in the development of the future of the department. This is a critical feature in creating a workplace that has an environment in which everyone is treated with a fair and respectful approach, has equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the success of Fort Atkinson mission and vision.
  • An experienced and collaborative fire/EMS leader with demonstrated managerial, interpersonal, and customer service skills.
  • A strong communicator with all facets of a modern fire/EMS provider.
  • An individual committed to the process of continuous improvement through study, data analysis, risk taking, and follow through.
  • A steady, approachable, and dependable demeanor.
  • A commitment to the organization with a genuine confidence and approachability to residents, business, and governmental leaders featuring effective communication skills. 
  • A professional in public safety that is an integral and engaged leader, with a strong background in modern fire, EMS, emergency management, and all hazard’s practices. 
  • A Fire Chief that understands the need to use data for problem solving and community risk reduction efforts.
  • The ability to mentor and foster leadership roles within the staff, succession planning, and a global vision of the community’s needs are critical. Creativity and the ability to guide and balance change is necessary. 
  • Strong budget skills supported by responsible fiscal management.
  • Demonstrated experience with working with a combination department.
  • Ability to work within the City’s organizational structure as a member of the Management Team, representing both the interests of the Department and of the City as a complete organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in fire science, public administration, or closely related field. 
  • Five years of progressively responsible public safety experience with at least five years management experience at the Lieutenant level or above, or any combination of education and experience which provides equivalent knowledge, skills, and abilities. 
  • Must have demonstrated work history of working in a combination fire/EMS department.
  • A valid Wisconsin motor vehicle operator’s license. 
  • CPR certification required. 
  • Considerable knowledge in public safety administration, budgeting, employee relations, contract negotiations, records systems, public relations, and excellent interpersonal skills. 
  • Wisconsin State Fire Officer I Certification or IFSAC / ProBoard equivalent.
  • Wisconsin State Fire Instructor I Certification or IFSAC / ProBoard equivalent.
  • Wisconsin State Fire Inspector I Certification or IFSAC / ProBoard equivalent.
  • Significant emergency management background with accelerated National Incident Management System (NIMS) training and experience (ICS100, ICS200, ICS300, ICS400, IS700, IS800 preferred).
  • Continuous personal education and proficiency enhancement
  • Minimum EMS certification at the EMT-B level.
The annual salary range for this position is $91,269.55 - $101,685.53 depending upon qualifications. The City of Fort Atkinson, WI also offers an attractive benefits package, including health, life, and dental insurance and inclusion in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). Candidates interested in applying for the position should submit their résumé and cover letter electronically, along with contact information for five (5) work-related and/or professional references by September 16, 2023 @ 1700 hours (Central Time DST) to consultant T.E. Sashko, Vice-President, GovHR. (847)380-3240.. 
The City of Fort Atkinson, WI is an equal opportunity employer. 
Application Deadline: September 16, 2023