Scio Township Fire Department has a new assistant fire chief/fire marshal

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The Scio Township Fire Department didn’t have to go far to find its new Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal.

With the recommendation from the fire chief, Doug Armstrong was hired on Oct. 26, for the position of full-time Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal for the Scio fire department. The agreement has him earning a pay rate of $86,176, along with standard mileage reimbursement for use of personal vehicle in carrying out duties of the job.

Scio Township Fire Chief Andy Houde gave his endorsement of Armstrong before the township board issued its unanimous decision.

Houde said Armstrong has over 20 years of service with the Scio department. With a clear demonstration of dedication and commitment to the fire service, he said he’s very confident that Armstrong can get the job done.

Armstrong has been serving as assistant fire chief, but a big part of this full-time position is combining that work with the fire marshal duties, which is something the township has needed.

In giving some background on the created position of bringing together the assistant chief and fire marshal, Houde said this goes back six months after the board approval of the job description.

The job’s description and summary states:

“Under the general direction of the Fire Chief, the Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal schedules and performs inspections of buildings within the community for violations of the fire code. He or she presents inspection findings to the business owner or occupant and plots corrective action plan including a deadline for corrections to be made.”

“The Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal coordinates or facilitates all other prevention or community risk reduction activities, assigning tasks to suppression personnel as necessary. The Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal coordinates or facilitates public education activities, assigning tasks to suppression personnel as necessary. The Assistant Chief is the ranking officer in the Fire Chief’s absence, overseeing all suppression personnel as needed, including issuing discipline if necessary. Employees in this position typically analyze, compare, and evaluate various course of action and have the authority to make independent decisions on matters of significance, free from immediate direction, within the scope of their responsibilities.”

In his report, Houde said he solicited members of the Scio fire department for the position of Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal and they had one applicant.

“After review of the resume and certifications/educational documents, Doug Armstrong exceeds the required qualifications as outlined in the job description,” Houde said in his report to the township board. “With such a qualified candidate, there is no need to seek additional candidates to fill the position.”

Armstrong has been with Scio since 2001 and has served as a firefighter, Lieutenant, interim Fire Chief and Assistant Chief. He’s a founding member of the Washtenaw County Swift Water Rescue Team and Drone Team as well as a founding member of the Helping Area Response Teams (HART) non-profit organization, and has served with the Dexter Area Fire Department.

He’s also the founder of North Star Reach, which is a non-profit organization providing life-changing in-person and virtual camp experiences for children with serious health challenges and their families, donors, volunteers and staff through a connected, caring community that centers on service to others.

In the introduction of his letter of interest to Houde, Armstrong wrote:

“I am an accomplished leader and team member with a track record of determined curiosity, passion for excellence, and professional drive for success. I excel in challenging new positions and strive to make enduring contributions to individuals and society that result in a better world.”

“I am a highly adaptable fire service leader who has benefited from the ability to practice in many diverse environments. I have been refining my emergency response and scene management skills for nearly four decades. I have recently fulfilled long-standing goals of attaining Fire Inspector and Fire Instructor certifications. I have successfully managed a productive part-time fire service career, in addition to executing in demanding full-time leadership roles. This required extensive logistics, strong time-management, stellar communication skills, sound judgment and problem-solving abilities and adherence to established protocols. I would be honored to help lead your team in a full-time capacity.”

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