Six finalists have been named as possible replacements for Spokane Valley Fire Department Chief Mike Thompson and will be interviewed Tuesday by the board of fire commissioners. Thompson has announced plans to retire in March.
Two local candidates are in the mix: Deputy Chief Andy Hail of Valley Fire and Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer. Hail has been with the department since 2009. Before that he was with the city of Redmond, Wash., fire department for 29 years, the last nine as deputy chief. Schaeffer has been with Spokane Fire since 2005. He was previously with the Yakima Fire Department and Yakima County Fire District 12 as a deputy chief.
The other candidates are Bryan Collins, of Walnut Creek, Calif.; Douglas McBee, of Centennial, Colo.; Dennis Rubin, of Woodbridge, Va.; and Randy Wheeler, of Sykesville, Md.
Collins retired last year from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District in California as assistant fire chief. McBee is the interim executive director for the Colorado State Fire Chiefs. He previously was the fire chief of the West Metro Fire Protection District in Lakewood, Colo.
Rubin was most recently fire chief for the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department in Washington, D.C. Wheeler retired last year from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service in Rockville, Md., as a division chief.
The interviews scheduled for Tuesday will be conducted in executive session, not open to the public. A second executive session to discuss the candidates is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday. A decision may be announced following the executive session.