The City of Battle Creek, MI (52,721), known as the “Cereal Capital of the World,” with “something for everyone” is seeking a strategic leader to become the next Fire Chief of the City. Located in Northwest Calhoun County at the intersection of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Rivers, it is the main city of the Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which encompasses all of Calhoun County. Battle Creek is best known as being the home of Kellogg Company, the founding city of Post-Consumer Brands, and the Fort Custer Industrial Park, a globally known industrial park with manufacturing companies from multiple countries, including Japan and Germany.
The City is seeking a highly collaborative and passionate leader to serve as its next Fire Chief. The Fire Chief position is a visible member of the City’s senior administrative team and requires great visionary and management skills that are based on consensus building and problem-solving. Battle Creek has a City Commission-City Manager form of government, with the City Manager administering the day-to-day operations of the City, along with the senior administrative team. The City Commission is made up of five ward Commissioners and four Commissioners At-Large. The Mayor is directly elected and the Vice-Mayor is selected by the Commissioners. Each serves a two-year, non-staggered term. As part of the senior leadership team, the Fire Chief provides counsel and administrative leadership to the City Manager and fire department staff in all matters of public safety, pertaining to development and maintenance of city fire protection, EMS support services, community risk reduction, and emergency management strategies.
Department’s core values are preserving honor through respect and integrity, maintaining competence through training and professional development, providing services that meet and exceed industry standards for excellence, using predictability to address internal and external customer needs, providing an atmosphere that encourages loyalty and camaraderie, providing a climate of inclusion without racism, sexism, favoritism, and nepotism, embracing accountability to ensure all members contribute to organizational success.
Department has an ISO Class 3 PPC rating.
Department provides services from six fire stations with fire suppression, emergency medical support (private ambulance transports – 72% of calls), arson investigation, dive rescue, community risk reduction, and aircraft rescue, as well as emergency management and special teams operations.
EMS is supported by Battle Creek Fire, and transports are provided by LifeCare (Emergent Health Partners) private ALS and BLS/EMS services.
There are 73 personnel on shift working a 24/48 schedule. Bargaining unit members are represented by Battle Creek IAFF Local 335 (Firefighters – Captain; collective bargaining agreement is current through 6/30/25).
Fire Chief is supported by a Deputy Chief (vacant), a Fire Marshal, Training Officer, and an Executive Assistant. The shift personnel are comprised of three Battalion Chiefs, six Captains, 15 Lieutenants, and 49 firefighters and emergency operators.
Department’s FY2022 budget is $12,667,731 and the department responded to 8,327 calls for service in 2021.
The City seeks:
Leadership: Be dedicated to becoming an effective servant leader and building collaborative and positive relationships with employees, colleagues, and outside organizations. Have strong and confident communication skills, excellent relationship-building abilities, and an accessible leadership style, be one who can establish trust quickly with others. Have thorough knowledge of the principles of personnel management including recruiting, training, promoting, disciplining, and terminating employees within a fire service context.
Versatility: Play an important role in coordinating, facilitating, and managing projects that require involvement across multiple service areas, with a strong desire to work in a collegial, team-oriented environment.
Innovation: Bring fresh ideas to the organization and offer unique perspectives and experiences.
Experience: Specifically, have experience in the areas of fire operations, emergency management, EMS support, budgeting, and community risk reduction.
Energy: Provide enthusiasm and bring focused energy to all projects, and a passion for service to the community. Be highly motivated, and able to develop and articulate a long-term plan for the fire department with the charisma to lead the team to an even higher level of excellence.
Motivation: A visionary, goal-oriented leader with a proven ability to gain cooperation and communicate a clear direction.
Bachelor's degree, with coursework in fire administration, public administration, or related field.
Ten (10) years of experience in fire or emergency services management.
Possess Fire Officer I, II, III Certification or equivalent executive level training upon hire.
Preferred but not required:
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Executive Fire Officer (EFO) certification from the National Fire Academy (NFA).
Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Experience in ISO and Accreditation standards.
The salary for this position is $94,000 to $123,000, based on experience and demonstrated skills. The City offers a comprehensive benefit plan, including elective participation in the Michigan Firefighters and Police Officers Retirement Act 345, and other retirement options. Residency is not required, but a reasonable range of response to City incidents will be expected. The City provides the Fire Chief with a department vehicle.
Candidates should apply by July 15, 2022, with résumé/CV, cover letter, and contact information for five professional references to www.GovHRjobs.com. Only electronic applications are accepted. Questions may be directed to the attention of T.E Sashko, Vice President, GovHR USA, Tel: (847)380-3240 x123.