By Rusty Bradshaw
Daisy Mountain Fire Department Chief Mark Nichols would fill in for Sun City Fire and Medical Department Chief Ron Deadman if the need ever arose, according to a new agreement between the departments.
The Sun City Fire District Board of Directors approved an intergovernmental agreement during its July 10 special meeting that outlined the arrangement. It is similar to a shared staffing agreement already in place between the departments. However, the existing agreement covers operations employees but not administration.
“This will ensure that things run smoothly if anything should happen to me or my family,” Mr. Deadman said.
The agreement is not reciprocal as the Daisy Mountain department has a larger staff, including personnel trained and designated to fill in for the chief if he experienced an extended period away from his duties, according to Mr. Nichols. Operating with a lean staff, Sun City’s department does not have that luxury. But that is changing, according to Mr. Deadman.
SCFMD officials earlier this year hired an administrative assistant who is now training.
“This is just a stop gap until Sun City gets people trained to do the job if the chief is out,” Mr. Nichols said. The existing shared staffing agreement, approved early last year, is reciprocal.
The need for the agreement became apparent earlier this year when Mr. Deadman had to take time off to assist his wife during a health issue. While department personnel was able to cover for the short period he was out, it did indicate a need for a plan for potential future issues, according to Mr. Deadman.
“If I was not able to serve the department for an extended period of time, the department could be compromised (without a plan),” he said. “Most departments have a deputy chief or other personnel who can fill in, but you still need a backup plan beyond that.”
Mr. Nichols said Daisy Mountain and Sun City operations are similar and the staffing at Daisy Mountain would allow for such an arrangement to be fairly seamless.