Sioux Falls, S.D., battalion chief selected as Fargo’s next fire chiefCity leaders want a Sioux Falls, S.D., man to be the next fire chief here. Steven Dirksen was offered the position Tuesday, following a day and a half of interviews with a seven-member hiring committee.
By: By Kristen M. Daum, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — City leaders want a Sioux Falls, S.D., man to be the next fire chief here.
Steven Dirksen was offered the position Tuesday, following a day and a half of interviews with a seven-member hiring committee.
The finalists included Dirksen and two other candidates, both of whom currently work for the Fargo Fire Department.
Mayor Dennis Walaker said “the decision was not an easy one,” but Dirksen rose above the other finalists with his articulated vision for the department and his strong experience.
Dirksen has been a battalion chief for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue since 1994. He’s also is a registered paramedic with experience in community ambulance services.
The Iowa native holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Sioux Falls.
Dirksen recently completed the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy in Maryland — a credential that city leaders said stood out on his resume.
Dirksen said he’s excited about the opportunity to come to Fargo.
“I’m very humbled to think that a community as good as Fargo is willing to put their trust in me to lead this great fire department,” he said.
Assistant Chief Dean Meyer and Capt. Gary Lorenz, both longtime employees with the Fargo Fire Department, were also up for the job.
“We couldn’t have gone wrong by picking any one of the three,” Walaker said.
Meyer and Lorenz pledged to city officials that they’d support Dirksen’s leadership of the department.
Commissioner Mike Williams, who was also on the hiring committee, called that “a winner” for Fargo.
Former Chief Bruce Hoover retired July 5 after 36 years with the department. Long-time Assistant Chief Steven Balstad, is serving as interim chief.
The department’s top job oversees 117 employees with an annual salary of $103,563 to $134,638.
The offer to Dirksen is pending on a background check. If he accepts, the Fargo City Commission will have final approval on his hiring.
Assuming everything goes through, Dirksen said he plans to begin work in mid-November.
Kristen Daum is a reporter at The Form of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.