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New asst. chief joins NKF&R

KINGSTON — After working with North Kitsap Fire & Rescue last year during discussions on potential consolidation with two Jefferson County fire agencies, Port Ludlow Fire Chief Wayne Kier liked what he saw in the North Kitsap staff.

But the consolidation fizzled and both NKF&R officials and Kier were saddened by the fact they wouldn’t be cooperating on joint coverage. However, they kept each other on their radars, hoping to work together again soon.

That wish will become a reality Nov. 1, when Kier steps down from his role on the other side of Hood Canal to take the position of assistant chief for support services at NKF&R.

Kier will oversee NKF&R’s safety, facilities and apparatus maintenance functions. Currently, NKF&R Assistant Chief Dan Smith is responsible for those areas as well as the operations division, covering most of the agency’s incident command needs, which includes overseeing operations on a fire scene. With the addition of Kier, both men will share the responsibilities involved with incident command.

Kier will also be the staff training officer, coordinating firefighter academies and officer development courses in-house and with Olympic College. In recent years, NKF&R has had to contract out much of its certification training.

Kier, who is a 27-year veteran of the fire industry, spent the majority of his career at King County Fire District 44 (now Mountain View Fire & Rescue), starting out as a volunteer and working his way up the ranks to chief officer. He joined PLF&R eight years ago.

His special interests include internal education and career development. He also has a wide range of fire service training credentials and experience.

NKF&R Fire Chief Paul Nichol said he is “thrilled to have Chief Kier join our team,” noting the close match between NKF&R’s needs and Kier’s abilities. 

“We’ve always operated with a small administrative staff, directing any available funding toward response personnel,” Nichol said. “Meanwhile, we’ve gotten busier, we’ve grown and we’re subject to more mandates than ever before.”

And since the district lid lift was passed this past spring, NKF&R is now in a position to hire additional support.

“Though we’ve needed additional administrative help for a long time, we haven’t been in a position to rectify the problem,” Nichol said. “Thanks to the continuing support of our citizens, we’re now able to meet this long-standing need with an imminently qualified candidate.”

Kier is excited to join the force at NKF&R, especially focusing on his new duties.

“I know they are a first-class operation and it’s humbling that I get to work in a place like that,” he said.

Kier and his wife of 30 years, Jackie, have four children.  They plan to continue living in Port Ludlow.

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