Nikki e-mails: "Since Mr. Bird is now the "Department Head" for the (Decorah) Fire Department, will he carry a pager and respond to all fires and rescues, otherwise known as Emergencies? Please correct me if I am wrong, but don't the heads of the Street Department, Water Department, Parks Department and Waste Water Treatment Plant respond to all emergencies such as floods?"
Mr. Answer Person says: "No. Last week's vote gave the City Administrator the duties of doing performance reviews of the three full-time fire engineers. Fire Chief Mike Ashbacher is still in charge of the operation of the fire department. It specifically mentions those duties in the city's Code: 'The fire chief, and in his absence, the assistant chiefs in order of rank, shall...exercise and have full control of the disposition of all fire apparatus, tools, equipment and other property used by or belonging to the fire department.'
Let's quote Chad BIrd himself: 'It's clear he (Ashbacher) has command of the volunteer department—and he does—their training, their probationary status, who's on, who's off the department and all that kind of stuff—it's clear he has all that responsibility and he does do that. These other areas are a little muddy. I think this is an opportunity to clean all that up."