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| 1 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

Scio Township’s search for its next fire chief appears to be getting closer to an end.

Late last month, the Scio Township Board was formally introduced to four candidates, who were picked from a larger group of around 20 or so applicants. The firm Emergency Services Consulting International is helping the township in its search.

The first candidate was Liam Carroll, who is currently the fire Technology Program Coordinator/Director at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. Carroll previously worked as the fire chief with the Lincoln Park Fire Department. His resume states he has 30 years of experience in the fire service and holds a master’s degree in Technology Studies: Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Eastern Michigan University.

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The second candidate was Andrew Houde, who is currently a Battalion Chief with the Harrison Township Fire Department, where he first became a member in 1996 and has risen through the ranks since. Houde has more than 27 years of experience in the fire service and holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration/Fire investigation from Columbia Southern University and has various certifications related to his professional field.

The third candidate was Robert Shugart, who is currently serving as a senior project manager in public safety consulting and he previously served as the Fire/Rescue Chief for the Plainview Fire Department in New York. Shugart has more than 40 years of experience in the fire service and holds a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computing Management and also has various fire/emergency-related certifications.

The final candidate was Robert Vogel, who is the current Fire Chief for the South Lyon department and had previously served as a firefighter and Battalion Chief with the Ann Arbor department. Vogel has more than 30 years of experience, holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University and also has various certifications.

The township held a community meet and greet with the four candidates on Oct. 23 before interviewing them the next day on the 24th. Scio Township Supervisor Jack Knowles said on the 23rd that they believe they have four really good candidates.

On the 24th, the township board made the decision to direct ESCI to conduct further employment background investigations on Houde and Vogel. A possible final decision could come this month.

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