CKFR's new chief hails from Portland

"Portland's loss is Silverdale's gain.Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue tapped Ken Burdette, deputy chief in charge of training for the Portland Fire Department, to be its new fire chief, according to CKFR Commissioner John Wilkins Sr.Wilkins said they offered the position to Burdette after calling the two other candidates, Mark Wallace of Golden, Colo., and Ken Walkington, chief of the Hansville Fire Department. The offer is subject to a background check, physical and a site visit at the Portland Fire Department, where we'll talk to people he works with, and we have to work out a contract, Wilkins said.The CKFR board will announce the offer to Burdette at its Feb. 12 meeting. The hiring process should take until the end of February, Wilkins said. If all goes well, Burdette would start work in early July, after CKFR Chief Executive Officer Richard West retires in June, Wilkins said.Burdette and the other finalists visited CKFR in December for testing, and a meet-and-greet reception for firefighters and the community.It's been great, I've had a good time. It's a good process, (CKFR officials) are doing a good job looking for a chief. It takes time, he said at the time.Burdette, who started as a volunteer student firefighter in Monmouth, Ore. in 1969, has more than 30 years experience in the fire service.As the deputy chief of the Portland Fire Department's training division, Burdette came from the largest department of all the candidates. The Portland Fire Department has more than 727 firefighters and staff, he said.But smaller departments have their advantages, Burdette noted.Larger departments sometimes can be somewhat impersonal, you don't get to know everyone. I can get to know everyone here, he said.Burdette and Julie, his wife, have two grown children, a son, 23, and daughter, 21.In terms of weather, he said Silverdale and Portland are about the same, so the adjustment would be easy.It's not so much different than the area we live in now, in a rural community, he said. "

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