Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue votes on firm to find new fire chief

The company that brought Fire Chief Ken Burdette to Central Kitsap will now look for his replacement.

The Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday evening to hire Emergency Services Consulting International to find a new fire chief. The consulting firm placed a bid of approximately $17,000 which was substantially less than the only other bid offered, said Commissioner Bob Muhleman.

"They had the best price and they're a known quality," he said.

Burdette has spent nine years leading the fire district. He is set to retire May 31.

Muhleman acknowledged there are employees already within the district that could do the job, but that it was important to widen the scope of the search.

"The board realizes that even though you have good internal candidates, the public expects you to go through a process to validate you're picking the right person," he said.

The five-member board will begin reviewing candidates for the position as soon they begin coming in which Muhleman expects to be sometime next week.

"We're not at square one yet, we're still at square zero," Muhleman said.

The board used the consultant firm more than nine years ago when it hired Burdette and again this year when it wanted a feasibility study regarding a possible merger with the Bremerton fire district.

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