Raymond Lamoureux is the board chairperson for the Key Peninsula Fire Department. Photo by Peter Ruble, KP News

Commissioners with the Key Peninsula Fire Department began the planning stages of replacing former Fire Chief Tom Lique during a March 10 board meeting.

Board Chairperson Raymond Lamoureux and his fellow board members discussed the desired qualifications for a new chief.

The next meeting is set for 3 p.m., March 25, at the Key Center fire station. Interim Fire Chief Guy Allen, who plans on competing for the permanent position, says the process should take 10 to 12 months.

Lamoureux said he is certain that an outside consulting firm will need to be hired to find a chief, and he plans on having a national search that focuses on “southern states.” Lamoureux said there aren’t enough resources to do it in house.

“We are primed and ready to move forward with great things,” said Lamoureux. “We don’t want to stay in the status quo.”

During the brainstorming session on March 10, the board came up with a list of qualifications for a new chief. Although they had specifics, commissioner Sheila Niven cautioned against pigeon-holing a candidate and missing out on an exceptional candidate who might have intangible leadership skills. “It’s the drive that we’re looking for,” Niven said.

According to Lamoureux, the board wants a chief with at least a bachelor’s degree in business management or fire-related public relations, but a master’s degree is preferred. He said the he would like someone who has been with their current department for at least 10 years, and has had five years of experience as a battalion chief. He said that experience managing a budget of $3 million to $5 million is preferred.

According to Niven, the board is seeking someone with an open mind and progressive personality with strong social skills. Ideally, the candidate would be family-oriented and would want to live within the district, she said.