Grand Rapids, MI (198,829 covering 45 mi2) is the second-largest city in Michigan, and the largest city in West Michigan. It is on the Grand River about 30 miles east of Lake Michigan and three hours from Chicago. The combined statistical area of Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland is 1.3 million.  The Gerald R. Ford International Airport transports two million passengers worldwide each year via six carriers.  Grand Rapids is also connected to Chicago and Detroit by Amtrak.
The City recently received numerous recognitions ranging from the Best U.S. City to Invest in Housing and the Fastest Growing Economy in the U.S. (Forbes);  the #1 City to Raise a Family; the #1 Hottest Real Estate Market to Watch ( #28 Most Hipster City in the world.  The Art Prize Festival was ranked one of the Top Five Festivals Worldwide (Time).  Fifteen craft breweries are located within Grand Rapids making it locally known as Michigan’s “Beer City.”  
Grand Rapids Fire Department – General Information
  • The Grand Rapids Fire Department received international accreditation for the second time in June of 2021That makes them one of 293 accredited fire agencies in the world. 
  • The department has also obtained an ISO Class 1 rating in 2018, placing them in the top 1% of agencies in the country.
  • In 2021 there were 23,986 total incidents with 33,536 apparatus responses.  101 of these calls were mutual and automatic aid assisting neighboring communities.  16,394 were medical related incidents as Michigan First Responders supported by local private ALS/BLS response and transport.
  • The department provides services from eleven (11) fire stations with fifteen (15) front-line emergency vehicles (4 Ladders, 2 Rescues and 9 Engines).  Twenty-four (24) apparatus are registered as Michigan First Responder licensed apparatus.  In total the department has seventy (70) vehicles in the operation.
  • There are one hundred ninety-four (194) personnel in the Operations Division.  There are two hundred twelve (212) medically licensed providers.
  • The administrative offices are located on the second floor of the LaGrave Avenue Fire station at 38 LaGrave SE.  The Administration is comprised of the executive chiefs, Emergency Manager, Fire Marshal, EMS Coordinator and various staff (see the main brochure for details).
  • The department has numerous divisions including Training, Fire Prevention/Community Risk Reduction, Investigations, Administration, Suppression, Strategic Planning, Building and Fleet Maintenance, Recruitment and Retention, Emergency Management, H.O.T (Homeless Outreach Team) and more.
  • The Fire Chief is appointed by the City Manager.
  • The department has a fiscal budget of $33,690,496 (FY2022).
  • The City’s comprehensive Strategic Plan Mission Statement states:  To elevate quality of life through excellent City services.  Equity is one of the City's six values and is embedded into all decisions, policies and practices.
The Ideal Candidate
“Innovative, Dynamic and Visionary Leader”
  • An inclusive leadership approach that provides the ability for the staff of the department to be “counted” 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 fairly and respectfully, has equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the success of GRFD.
  • transformative leader that is energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate for the city and the organization focusing on helping every member of the department.  Grand Rapids fosters raising each other to a higher level of motivation and morality.
  • Has the ability to demonstrate being 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 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.
  • Steady, Approachable, and Dependable.
  • A commitment to the organization with a genuine confidence and approachability to residents, business, and governmental leaders featuring strong communication skills.  
  • A Fire Chief 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 a must. 
  • Strong budget skills supported by responsible fiscal management.
  • Demonstrated experience with working with a collective bargaining group.
Successful candidates should also:
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in fire administration or related field from an accredited college or university is requiredA master’s degree is highly desired. 
  • Must have years of senior officer leadership serving a community of similar size or greater with a comparable budget and personnel staffing levels is required.
  • Other additional desirable qualification include: a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer (or enrolled with a specific completion date), Chief Fire Officer Designation (or in process with a specific completion date), or similar certifications. 
Compensation and Benefits
The annual salary range for this position is $135,481 – $174,651The City offers a competitive benefits package.
How to Apply 
Candidates should apply online by March 12023, with resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references.  Questions may be addressed to the attention of T.E Sashko, Vice President, GovHR USA,  630 Dundee Road, #225, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel:  847-380-3240 x 123. 
The City of Grand Rapids is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023

Posted: 2023-01-30

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