Assistant Fire Chief – Town of Apex, NC
The growing community of Apex, NC is seeking an experienced fire safety expert to serve as Assistant Fire Chief. The Assistant Fire Chief is an independent, self-motivated leader who can effectively balance spearheading initiatives while collaborating with other department leaders to achieve the department’s mission, vision, and values. This position is for the data-driven leader who demonstrates both passion and expertise in analyzing and comprehending technical reports – using data and metrics to make informed decisions. Joining a department with two additional Assistant Fire Chief’s, this Assistant Fire Chief position will serve as the accreditation and ISO manager and will primarily be responsible for leading the department through the accreditation process which is already in process. Experience successfully navigating departments through the accreditation process is highly desired along with outstanding leadership and communication skills.
About the Community:
Settled in the 1860’s and incorporated in 1873, the Town of Apex acquired its name due to its location as the highest point on a 30 mile stretch of the Chatham Railroad line that ran between Richmond, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida. Located in southwest Wake County, Apex, and the surrounding area experienced unprecedented growth in the 1990’s following job creation in Research Triangle Park and the nearby large universities. From a population of 5,500 in 1990 to nearly 73,000 as of April 2022, Apex continues to experience exponential growth. In fact, since the 2010 Census, the population of Apex has increased by 101.79% and recent growth estimates identify an annual growth rate of over 7.62%.
The 14th largest city in North Carolina, Apex is known fondly today as “The Peak of Good Living,” and results from a 2020 Citizen Survey indicate that 96% of community members believe the town is an excellent or good place to live. Apex is a growing, thriving town working to balance that “small town” feel that so many community members value with the reality of being a mid-sized community in North Carolina. Money Magazine ranked Apex as the #1 Best Place to Live in the US in 2015. The ranking credits high-paying jobs, excellent schools, affordable housing prices, and more. Situated within the Research Triangle area, Apex is less than 30 minutes from 3 Tier 1 Research Universities: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University.
The well-preserved downtown business district and the trains that still run through the town are a reminder of the past, while new subdivisions, shopping centers, parks, and businesses have enhanced the lifestyle of Apex community members. History buffs flock to the town’s central business district, with multiple structures listed on the coveted National Register of Historic Places. Just step inside the Halle Cultural Arts Center and learn about the building’s history, dating back to 1912. The Halle is now a modern center for exhibitions, musicals, and plays.
With over 400 acres of parkland, Apex fosters an active community. Unique to the town is a disc golf course at Apex Nature Park and the Rodgers Family Skate Plaza, a 24-hour custom-designed skate park. Families drive from all around to visit Kidstown Playground at Kelly Road Park, one of the few remaining wooden playgrounds in the area. Those seeking a physical challenge will love the town’s Elevate Fitness course (think Ninja Warrior) at the Apex Community Park.
Downtown Apex hosts nearly a dozen street festivals and special events throughout the year, attracting thousands of attendees. PeakFest is a signature community event, drawing artisans from all over the state with their unique wares. Dozens of barbecue-cook teams from across the country descend on Downtown Apex for the Peak City Pig Fest. The town celebrates diversity, inclusion, and belonging with cultural festivals and events including the Latino Arts Festival, Russian Festival, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Juneteenth.
About the Organization:
The Town of Apex, which operates under the Council-Manager form of government provides exceptional public service that cultivates opportunities for the individual and community to live, thrive, and reach their peak. The Town employs 579 benefitted positions (full and part-time) and 150 seasonal employees across 19 departments. The 2022-23 Operating Budget totals $178M for all funds and is supported by a tax rate of $.41 per $100 of assessed tax value. The FY23 budget added an additional 55 positions and several new departments. The Council’s vision is a community unified in the stewardship of our small-town character and natural environment, for a future where all succeed. This vision is realized through the following strategic goals that guide the future of the Town of Apex:
- A Welcoming Community: Create a safe and welcoming environment fostering community connections and high-quality recreational and cultural experiences supporting a sense of belonging.
- High-performing government: Deliver exceptional service valuing an engaged workforce with an emphasis on efficiency, collaboration, innovation, and inclusion.
- Economic Vitality: Improve and sustain an environment that invites and retains a diversity of residents, employment opportunities, and businesses
- Responsible Development: Encourage equitable and sustainable development that provides accessibility and connectivity throughout the community.
- Environmental Leadership: Commit to sustaining natural resources and environmental well-being.
About the Department and Position:
As an all-hazards organization, the Apex Fire Department, founded in 1927, is responsible for mitigation of emergency incidents that extend well beyond the customary fire suppression duties. All members of the department’s paid staff are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians at the Basic Level (EMT-B) and Hazardous Materials Level 1 responders. In addition to these minimum requirements, a majority of our department are also certified as Technical Rescuers with specialties in vehicle extrication, confined space rescue, trench rescue, high angle rescue and water rescue.
The Apex Fire Department’s strategic plan prioritizes multiple goals including achieving accreditation while ensuring the department has adequate resources to meet the needs of the community. The Apex Fire Department is committed to comprehensive community risk reduction. Through its fire prevention/education program, on average, fire personnel connect with over 4,000 people annually. The department also sponsors a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. This program allows community residents to learn about disaster preparedness, attend training and be prepared to assist their neighbors in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The program is designed to support community preparedness. Our CERT members also assist with community events such as Peakfest. In conjunction with our public education programs, the department participates actively with North Carolina SafeKids and through this program provides car seat inspections.
Within the department of 114 fire personnel across 5 fire stations, fire personnel are assigned to 1 of 3 shifts that work 24-hour rotations. Each shift is comprised of 29 personnel that provide 24/7/365 emergency response. A sixth fire station is scheduled to open in April 2023, with each shift increasing to 34 personnel, including a second battalion chief on each shift. The Fire Department’s Administrative staff works a 40-hour week and is comprised of the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief of Operations, Assistant Chief of Support Services, Administrative Logistics Coordinator, Fire Support Specialist, Program Support Specialist, and two Training Coordinators. Additionally, the department’s Risk Reduction Division is comprised of the Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal, and a Fire Inspector.
With the support of a data analysis professional, this Assistant Fire Chief will oversee the following functions of the department: accreditation, ISO, data, RMS, policies, procedures and guidelines, administrative functions and programs including professional development. Reporting to the Fire Chief, this Assistant Fire Chief thrives in a culture of high-performance expectations and personal accountability and will support the Fire Chief in fulfilling the mission of the department – to enhance the quality of life in our community through risk reduction, response readiness, and genuine commitment to excellence in all that we do. The successful candidate will demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to embracing and upholding the Department’s values: commitment to our mission; respect for others; diversity of thoughts and opinions; actions to strengthen teamwork; continual improvement; organizational transparency, and trustworthy leadership.
The next Assistant Fire Chief will work collaboratively with key stakeholders including the Town’s core partners – the Towns of Cary and Morrisville to help lead the CAM (Cary/Apex/Morrisville) collaborative response pact in advocating for and justifying the needs of the Wake County Fire Protection system and departmental needs with supporting data and facts. The Assistant Fire Chief will help maintain the Town’s reputation as a leader through engaging in dialogue and practices on fireground procedures, technical rescue policy, ISO and accreditation, and participating in joint training with other agencies.
Key Position Priorities:
- Lead the department through achieving accreditation by utilizing best practices and strategic initiatives to educate staff on the accreditation process, improve internal communication, and unite the staff around the department’s strategic goals.
- Develop and manage a core accreditation team to support all facets of the accreditation process including accomplishing SAM – Self Assessment Manual, while effectively holding the team and department accountable to accreditation standards.
- Facilitate the organization of department policies and procedures to improve consistency, compliance, and alignment with accreditation standards including establishing and implementing guidelines for ISO documentation ensuring that information and records are properly captured, stored, and utilized to maintain the ISO Class 1 level.
- Support the Fire Chief in executing the department’s strategic plan by solidifying a framework for the strategic goals and standards of coverage.
Qualifications: The City seeks a fire safety leader with a minimum of 10 years of progressive fire service experience in administration and/or progressive management at the rank of Captain or higher. Bachelor’s degree in fire science, public administration, business administration, emergency management or a related field is required. Additional requirements include Firefighter Level II, Hazmat Level 1, NFPA 1021 Fire Officer III, NIMS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800 certifications. Must possess and maintain a valid state driver’s license with an acceptable driving history.
Preferred qualifications include the following:
- CPSE Chief Fire Officer Designation or graduation from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.
- CFAI accreditation peer team assessor.
- Completion of the CPSE Quality Improvement for the Fire and Emergency Service Course and Peer Assessor training.
The Successful Candidate:
- has held multiple assignments across functional areas of fire and rescue such as suppression, prevention, and administration and demonstrates knowledge and familiarity with the CPSE accreditation process;
- engages, involves and collaborates with response partners at high-levels;
- has a proven track record in policy development and consistency of application;
- is a principled leader who values accountability while holding realistic and fair expectations of self and others and has a track record in creating camaraderie and common values across stations and shifts;
- demonstrates effective listening and communication skills – seeks input from relevant parties, realistically assesses plans and consistently communicates including one on one, small groups and public speaking; confidently and persuasively engages community members and groups, staff, and Town leaders;
- is a strategic problem solver who seeks information from multiple sources, communicates ideas and decisions effectively, and evaluates results;
- expertly uses data and metrics to propose solutions and make decisions;
- eliminates silos and seeks commonality across functions intradepartmentally and works effectively interdepartmentally to build relationships in service to public safety goals;
- is skilled at engaging collaboratively and diplomatically with a variety of stakeholders such as fire department staff, other Town employees, community members and groups, Town Manager, Town Council, other fire departments and regional, state and federal authorities in order to leverage department opportunities, manage challenges, and maximize resources such as training, equipment, mutual aid, etc.;
- is skilled in budget development and management, policy development and application, effective personnel management, and development;
- has impeccable integrity with a proven record of consistent and reliable performance; and,
- maintains knowledge of best practices in fire safety and emergency management through continuing education to include appreciation and understanding of technology.
- Additional Information
Salary and Benefits: The expected hiring range for the position is $95,909-$117,489, depending on qualifications and experience with a full salary range of $95,909 – $148,660. The Town provides an excellent benefits package which can be viewed here.
To apply, please visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/developmentalassociates and click on the Assistant Fire Chief – Town of Apex, NC title. To learn more about the selection process, visit https://developmentalassociates.com/client-openings/, select “Client Openings” and scroll down to “Important Information for Applicants.” All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the Town Employment Application portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Applicants must apply by February 3, 2023. Successful semi-finalists will be invited to participate in virtual interviews and skill evaluation on March 9 – 10, 2023. Candidates are encouraged to reserve these dates for virtual meetings should they be invited to participate. All inquiries should be emailed to email@example.com. The Town of Apex is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The recruitment and selection process is being managed by Developmental Associates, LLC.