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Bertler to begin Feb. 3 as Suamico fire chief

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – Effective Feb. 3, the village will have a full-time fire chief.

The Suamico Fire Commission gave final approval Monday, Jan. 20, to hiring Joe Bertler, a battalion chief with the Bellevue Fire-Rescue Department.

Village Administrator Alex Kaker said Bertler will be formally sworn in at the Feb. 3 village board meeting to take over as the full-time fire chief.

Suamico is switching from a part-time to a full-time fire chief, as recommended by a staffing committee, to meet future personnel needs for the fire department.

Bertler will replace the village’s current part-time chief, Troy Noe, who did not pursue the full-time position.

Noe expressed interest in remaining with the fire department wherever the new chief would decide is best.

Kaker said a recommendation from the new chief as to where to assign Noe in the department would be forwarded to the Fire Commission for its approval.

In addition to Bertler’s position in Bellevue, he is also a fire inspector for the Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety and an assistant fire chief for the Suamico Fire Department, where he has served since 2008.

From a pool of 15 applicants, Bertler was one of four finalists and two who interviewed for Suamico fire chief.

Lance Homann, an administrative captain/training officer with the Evans Fire Protection District in Colorado, also interviewed for the position.

The final selection process Bertler and Homann participated in spanned two days Jan. 9-10, after which the commission picked Bertler for fire chief pending successful completion of a background check, drug screening, physical and a signed employment agreement.

The village is also is the design process for a new fire station to be located at the intersection of Deerfield Lane and Riverside Drive.

The design schedule calls for releasing plans for bidding in February, receiving bids in March and awarding construction contracts in April.

The Fire Station No. 1 project is scheduled for completion in early 2021.

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