Clallam County Fire District’s new leadership line of Battalion Chiefs are on the job.
Stef Anderson, Chris Turner and Elliott Jones from Las Vegas Fire Department now oversee 24-hour shifts and its crews at three stations.
They take over duties for on-call fire chiefs and assume day-to-day operations while serving below the fire chief and assistant chief positions as the “hub of the wheel that is the fire district,” leaders report.
A departmental shift long in the planning, the three chiefs completed an Acting Battalion Chief task book, testing and chiefs’ interviews prior to hiring and starting a two-week introductory period on May 1.
Jones joins C shift on May 11, effectively starting the new battalion chief rotations, and will manage the district’s Emergency Medical Services program with the district’s Medical Safety Officer Capt. Kolby Konopaski.
Anderson, formerly a captain on B Shift, returns as battalion chief on May 12 and will serve as the district’s training officer.
Turner, formerly C shift captain, returns to A shift as its battalion chief and will serve as the community and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) liaison and oversee Tech Rescue and Wildland Fire programs.
After a year’s probationary period, the three battalion chiefs will formally receive their badges, they said.
Battalion chiefs’s backgrounds
Anderson started with the fire district as an Explorer Scout while attending Sequim High School, and fire district staff said she spent more time at the fire station than school during her senior year.
After graduating, she joined as a volunteer, earned her EMT, attended fire academy and graduated from Tacoma College with her degree in paramedicine. Anderson was hired as a firefighter/paramedic in 2006. She also has a bachelor’s degree in fire science.
In 2019, Anderson was promoted to lieutenant. As the district began its transition to include battalion chiefs in 2021, the designation of lieutenant was eliminated, and Anderson and six other lieutenants were reclassified as captains.
Turner started in the fire service out of high school in Skagit County. He attended Skagit Community College to earn an associate’s degree in fire science, and later his paramedic certification from Central Washington University.
In 1999, Turner was hired by the fire district as a firefighter/paramedic and promoted to lieutenant in 2008 and captain in 2010. He graduated from Columbia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in fire administration in 2022.
Some experiences that stand out to him, Turner said, include being staked out overnight on a river bank during a water rescue and helping in the delivery of a baby. His love of the fire service has been passed down to his son, Tyler, who is pursuing a career in the fire service.
Jones, who grew up in the Spokane area, returns to Washington after working in Las Vegas.
He comes from a family of firefighters with both his mother and father retired from the City of Spokane Fire Department.
Jones started as a resident firefighter in the Spokane area and moved to Las Vegas to continue his career. After earning his certification in paramedicine at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, he attended Southern Nevada University to earn an advanced degree in paramedicine.
The fire district is in process of hiring seven more firefighters from an applicant pool of 39, said interim fire chief Dan Orr.