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City names dept. vet to interim fire chief post
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BRODHEAD - The city council named a 40-year department veteran as interim fire chief Tuesday, a move that followed its July 11 decision to not renew former Chief Jay Bohan's contract.

Wayne Gibson, who previously served as an assistant fire chief, was tapped to lead the department.

"I've been here a long time," Gibson said. "I feel almost obligated to help. I can't just walk away."

Council members said they were relieved to finally have the position filled.

"Thanks for doing this," Mayor Doug Pinnow said to Gibson, during the meeting. "We'll do our best to work with you."

Gibson has been a member of the fire department for more than four decades, and pledged to strive to provide leadership for the department.

"It's a big honor," Gibson said. "I'll do my best for the city."

Gibson, however, said he has no intention of becoming the city's permanent fire chief.

"I stressed to them this is part-time," Gibson said. "I can't run another business."

Gibson owns and operates Gibson Plumbing and Heating, as well as a gun shop, in Brodhead.

Pinnow said it is now up to the council to determine the best way to move forward with the fire department.

"We're going to determine if there is a need of a full-time chief," Pinnow said. "And if there is a need, we'll send something (like an ad) out."

Pinnow said he wants to have the job filled by year's end.

Bohan's contract expired July 29, and the council voted 3-2 to not renew it. He took over as chief in 2008.

When officials began discussing renewal of Bohan's contract last year, some firefighters raised concerns about his performance as the city's first full-time chief.

Two committees last year also unanimously recommended against hiring Bohan, but the city council voted 5-0 in July 2010 to renew his contract for one year.