Position Detail:

Great Falls Fire Department
105-9th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59401

Cascade County

406-454-2454 - fax

Hiring Information:

Position: Fire Chief
Last Filing Date:  February 6, 2021

Special Instructions:  

open until filled


The City of Great Falls, Montana, is situated on the Missouri River in the heart of Big Sky Country, approximately 50 miles east of the Continental Divide and 120 miles south of the Canadian border. Great Falls, with a population of nearly 59,000 is the county seat of Cascade County and the third largest city in Montana.
The Missouri River, one of nature?s most magnificent waterways, drops over 500 feet as it cuts through the city, creating a series of rapids and breathtaking waterfalls. Great Falls, from which the city derives its name, is actually only one of five total falls that span a 10-mile stretch of the river. The City of Great Falls is known as ?The Electric City? because of the number of hydroelectric dams nearby, which include Ryan (sits atop the Great Falls of the Missouri), Morony, Cochran, Rainbow (sits atop Rainbow Falls), and Black Eagle (sits atop Black Eagle Falls). The falls roar each spring and create interesting winter ice formations in the winter.

Great Falls is surrounded by spectacular natural wonders and scenery and can also serve as an excellent basecamp to access Montana?s unpopulated wilderness and world-class fishing. Nearby parks include First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and Giant Springs State Park. Amazing parks to visit outside of Great Falls but within easy driving distance include Glacier National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, which consists of more than 1.5 million roadless acres.
For winter outdoor recreation, Showdown Montana in the Little Belt Mountains features some of Montana?s most consistent natural snow, and the Silver Crest Ski Trail, also in the Little Belt Mountains, is one of the only mixed-use winter sport areas in Montana and is enjoyed by Nordic skiers, snow-shoeing enthusiasts, snowmobilers, and dogsledders.
Sports fans in the area enjoy Great Falls Americans hockey games,
Great Falls Voyagers baseball games, and University of Providence athletics. Great Falls is also home to Electric City Raceway, Electric City BMX, and Hi-Line
Climbing Center.
Great Falls offers a wide variety of microbreweries, local eateries, coffee shops, and bars. The Sip ?n Dip Lounge is a retro, 1960s style tiki bar that features mermaids that swim around in the hotel pool in front of the window in the bar. The bar came in second in the 2016 National Trust for Historic Preservation?s tournament of America?s favorite historic bars.
The City of Great Falls has 57 parks throughout town. Bountiful gardens, mountain views, and freshwater springs line the public parks that are connected by the River?s Edge Trail, a 60-mile urban trail along the Missouri River. The trail connects city parks, the downtown area, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and Giant Springs.
Great Falls is home to a number of distinct museums. Popular museums include: the 25,000 square-foot Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which contains North America?s most extensive depiction of the expedition; CM Russell Museum, featuring works of art by the late western artist and legendary cowboy Charles M. Russell; Malmstrom Air Force Base Museum & Air Park; Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art; Children?s Museum of Montana; and the History Museum, run by the Cascade County Historical Society.
Great Falls is also rich in other cultural offerings, from live music and entertainment to special events. Residents enjoy summer concerts in Gibson Park, and the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Great Falls Symphony and offers shows, productions, concerts, and performances year-round. Great Falls hosts a number of noteworthy events each year. Signature events include PRCA Rodeo Finals, Western Art Week, the Great Falls Museum Consortium Sunday Sampler, Cruisin? the Drag, the Lewis and Clark Festival, and the Montana State Fair.

The City of Great Falls operates under the Commission-Manager form of government established by charter with self-governing powers. The City?s legislative and policy- making body is the City Commission, which is composed of a Mayor (elected for a two- year term) and four Commissioners who serve overlapping four-year terms. The Mayor and Commissioners are elected at-large on a non- partisan basis.
The City Commission appoints a City Manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the City and enforce the policies adopted by the Mayor and City Commissioners. The City Manager?s duties include supervising all City departments, preparing an annual budget, and appointing employees.
Greg Doyon has served as the City Manager for Great Falls for over 12 years. Greg has a broad base of public sector service including service as a waterfront park director, reserve police officer, emergency medical technician, planning director, and town administrator. City Manager Doyon has over 25 years of experience working with city councils/commissions, municipal departments, administering and supervising budget development, long-term planning, and
staff development.
The City of Great Falls has 561 employees and an FY2020 budget of approximately $128.9 million. City departments include Administration, Fire, Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Community Development, Police, and Public Works.

The Great Falls Fire Rescue?s (GFFR) primary responsibility is to protect lives and property through fire prevention, fire suppression and investigation, emergency pre-hospital medical service, and maintenance of fire hydrants. GFFR protects a population of 65,000 people across 25 square miles, which includes 18 contracted fire districts located outside the City limits. GFFR is comprised of 63 uniformed firefighters and seven administrative positions and has an annual budget of approximately $9 million. Emergency ambulance services are provided through an agreement with Great Falls Emergency Services (GFES).
Great Falls Fire Rescue is comprised of four divisions: Administration, Fire Operations, Fire Prevention, and Emergency & Disaster.
) Administration - Administration includes leadership and support staff and consists of the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief of Operations, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, Deputy Fire Marshal, Training Officer, Administrative Assistant, and Administrative Secretary.
) Fire Operations - Fire Operations staff is divided into four platoons consisting of 15 personnel each. Operations staff respond to over 8,000 service calls per year and provide emergency response from four strategically located fire stations. GFFR is committed to providing a high level of Advanced Life Support care to the community and requires all firefighters to have medical training at the minimum level of EMT. Many firefighters have advanced or Paramedic levels of training and all are National Registry certified and remain current in Pediatric (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) practices.
) Fire Prevention - The Fire Marshal?s office is responsible for fire and life safety inspection of existing commercial and business occupancies. In addition, the Fire Marshal?s office reviews new construction and renovation projects to ensure that buildings shall comply before occupancy with current fire code standards and meet the life safety needs of occupants
) Emergency & Disaster - The Emergency & Disaster Division is responsible for helping the community and the City to prepare for man-made and natural disasters. This division works with the County Disaster and Emergency Services Director in the development and maintenance of a countywide comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and to
ensure the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is ready to be activated during a disaster situation.

The Fire Chief vacancy is a result of the current Chief retiring after serving for over 15 years with GFFR, including four years as Chief. The position will be open to both internal and external applicants. Positions reporting directly to the Fire Chief include Administrative Assistant, Fire Marshal, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, and Assistant Chief of Operations.
Responsibilities of the Fire Chief include:
) Establishes policies and procedures to prevent outbreak of fires and minimizing danger to persons and damage to property caused by fires.
) Ensures that all fires are properly documented and reported to the Department of Justice using the National Fire Incident Reporting System.
) Develops, implements, and enforces written GFFR policy, standards, and guides consistent with applicable laws, ordinances, and City policies.
) Develops and implements the department?s overall annual budget. Monitors and evaluates budget performance.
) Evaluates and analyzes organizational performance to provide appropriate recognition or corrective actions; implements changes to improve service model, safety, and working conditions.
) Provides analysis, reports, and recommendations to the City Manager and Commission about the department?s emergency service delivery effectiveness and areas of needed improvement.
) Establishes and maintains department training program which may use existing federal, regional, state, and local training resources. The program must include training in all areas of emergency response for which GFFR provides services.
) Establishes and maintains a community risk reduction program that provides for regular examination of life safety and fire hazards and regular inspection of commercial property.
) Cultivates and maintains positive working relationships with other City departments, GFFR leadership, and non-represented and represented personnel.
) Investigates the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire that occurs in the jurisdiction that involves the loss of life, injury to a person, destruction of property, or damage to property. May investigate or cause an investigation of suspected or reported gas leaks or other hazardous conditions and take any action necessary to protect public health and safety and protect property or mitigate damage to property.

Key objectives for the new Fire Chief will include:
) Response Times - Conduct a departmental response analysis, develop clear and objective response requirements to include the resources required to protect lives, stabilize the incident, and protect the environment and property. Propose a specific response time standard for general and specific incidents. Present these standards to City Commission in the form of a resolution. Continue to analyze dispatch and response procedures to explore ways to send the right resources to the incident and to maximize current staffing and equipment concentration in the community.
) Master Growth Plan - Develop a Great Falls master growth plan in cooperation with community development officials. It will be important for the incoming Fire Chief to understand the impacts of growth on fire service delivery and adequately plan for the future.
) New-hire Recruit Academy - Develop a new-hire recruit academy that prepares all candidates to perform all functions of firefighting and EMS prior to placement on platoon.
) Community Risk Reduction Program - Plan and develop a comprehensive Community Risk Reduction program that incorporates community risk reduction into the department?s strategic plan. Forms partnerships with agencies across the City that embrace community risk reduction; advocate to assist with local and state legislation geared toward risk reduction.
) Public Education and Visibility - Conduct public education through social media
to inform citizens about fire prevention and safety. Build bridges with community organizations and the general public to increase the visibility of GFFR and articulate GFFR?s value to residents. Provide all public and private elementary schools with a fire prevention program in October using National Fire Prevention Week theme.
) Infrastructure - Facilitate overhaul of utility infrastructure in three of four stations. Plan ahead for equipment and apparatus acquisitions.
) Strategic Plan - GFFR recently adopted a five-year strategic plan. Employees were engaged in the development of the plan and are familiar with it. The strategic plan has provided a clarity of purpose, vision, and goals for the future. The next Chief should acknowledge the investment it took to create the strategic plan and build on it.

The City is seeking a cohesive leader with the ability to implement change and to improve the service model. The selected individual will be an excellent communicator, able to listen attentively and to articulate clearly, when interacting with employees, department head peers, the City Manager, elected officials, and the public. The ideal candidate will be politically astute, diplomatic, and humble, while also being driven and results-oriented. The ideal candidate will be a team player who works effectively and cooperatively with the operations staff, management staff, and community. It will be important for the new Fire Chief to establish and maintain positive and productive relationships, both internally and externally. A good-natured team player with a sense of humor will be successful in this position.
The ideal candidate will actively look for opportunities to engage and collaborate with other City departments. Excellent interpersonal skills, combined with a high level of credibility, will provide the basis for strong departmental relationships. The new Fire Chief should advocate for fire safety while also maintaining support for other City services and programs.
The selected individual will be approachable, accessible, and
responsive. The successful candidate will be open, honest, and trustworthy and have a management style that focuses on integrity and safety. A great amount of forward movement and planning has occurred within GFFR in recent years. It will be paramount for the new Chief to continue to set and achieve goals and to maintain the Department?s current good morale through relationship building and by serving as a strong advocate for employees.
The incoming Fire Chief should have a servant leader approach and create an organizational culture based on trust that allows honest discussions about policy, procedures, and strategic planning. The ideal candidate will be an effective delegator and not a micromanager. It will be important for the new Chief to acknowledge successes, seek input from line staff, and visit all stations regularly.
Currently, labor management relations are healthy. It will be essential for the new Fire Chief to understand the collective bargaining environment and foster a productive working relationship with IAFF.
The ideal candidate will be well-rounded with extensive knowledge of modern fire suppression and prevention principles, existing fire codes and regulations, building construction, labor laws, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, fire behavior, and effective management principles and best practices. It will be essential for the new Fire Chief to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and have experience in budget development, including capital planning for equipment, apparatus, and facilities.

This position requires ten (10) or more years of progressively responsible experience in firefighting and administration, with a minimum of six (6) years as an officer. A bachelor?s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Fire Science, or a related field is required. A graduate degree and completion of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officers Program are preferred. Completion of Incident Command System (ICS) 100, 200 and 300 and National Incident Management System (NIMS) 700 and 800 is required. Possession of a valid driver?s license is required.

The salary range for this position is $105,000 to $125,000, depending on qualifications and experience. The City provides an outstanding benefits package that includes sick leave, vacation leave, holidays, health insurance, long-term disability benefits, life insurance, retirement, deferred compensation, and professional development opportunities.
By Montana statute, all public employees must participate in the Montana Public Employees Retirement Administration (MPERA). Employees contribute 7.9 percent, and the City contributes 8.67 percent. The City contribution for Firefighters? Unified Retirement System (FURS) Pension is 14.36 percent. MPERA offers two different plans: Defined Benefit or a Defined Contribution Plan. Both plans require five years of service for vesting.
The City provides a relocation allowance of up to $15,000, which includes items such as transportation of household furnishings, movement and storage, house hunting trips, and temporary living allowance, as necessary. The City may consider offering transitional leave to assist in moving the incoming Fire Chief?s family if he/she starts work prior to actual move of personal effects. Residency within the City limits is not required.

Apply online at: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/greatfallsmt Please include a cover letter and resume.
For more information on this position, call 406-455-8466.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Policy of the City of Great Falls is to provide a fair and equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, political belief, national origin, age, physical or mental ability, marital status or other characteristic protected by law.

Starting Salary:  $105,000.00 - $125,000.00 Annually
Top Salary:   N/A
Contact:   Human Resources Office
PO Box 5021
Civic Center, Room 202
Great Falls, MT 59403

Additional Department Details:

Annual Budget: N/A
Population Served: 59,000
Number of Firefighters: N/A

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