Job Details

Fire Chief
City of Ferndale, MI
Job Description

The City of Ferndale, Michigan is pleased to announce their search for a new Fire Chief. The next Chief will have the opportunity to lead the Fire Department into the future, which will include overseeing the implementation of a series of recommendations from a recent organizational assessment.

The Fire Department provides full-scale fire rescue and EMS services to the City of Ferndale, and services to the adjoining communities of Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak Township. The Fire Chief responds to incidents and provides management for large or complex incidents. The Fire Chief is appointed by the City Council and reports directly to the City Manager. The Department has an authorized strength of 24 firefighters and two administrative assistants. In addition, the Fire Marshall has four part-time inspectors. The Department is a member of the Oakland and Wayne Counties (OAKWAY) mutual aid group. The Department budget for 2019 is $4.9 million.

The City of Ferndale is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. The city occupies approximately four square miles with a population of approximately 20,000. The city was incorporated in 1927 and became known as a bedroom community for workers commuting to Detroit mainly by trolley in those days. Today, Ferndale is a vibrant, full-service city with an active downtown comprised of many new stores and restaurants. The city has focused on being a pedestrian-friendly downtown by modifying traffic flow in the downtown area and adding on-street parking. Ferndale has emerged as a place for families, with their own school district, including elementary, middle schools, and a high school. Many city parks, active churches, and civic groups are a valued part of the community. Ferndale values diversity and in 2006 passed an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting people from discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and business. The city sponsors many events and festivals during the year, including Ferndale Pride.

The City of Ferndale was incorporated in 1927 and is a statutory city organized under provisions of the Michigan Constitution. The City government consists of a Mayor and a four-member City Council, with a City Manager responsible for carrying out the policies and ordinances of the City Council and overseeing the day-to-day operations. The City employs 146 full-time, 10 part-time, and 15 seasonal employees and has a 2019 total general fund budget of $23.6 million.

The City is seeking a contemporary, professional fire services leader. Candidates must have demonstrated a record of leadership and a commitment to proactive, hands-on, participative management and possess excellent interpersonal, problem solving, communication, and financial management skills. The next Chief will have a varied professional fire background that demonstrates success in working with diverse communities while providing leadership in a professional fire agency engaged in collaborative community partnerships.

• Collaborator—will be part of the City Executive Team
• Excellent communicator
• Has a non-autocratic, participative leadership style
• Political acumen—ability to maneuver complex political situations effectively
• A reputation for honesty and being trustworthy, approachable, and dependable
• Advocate for utilizing technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness
• Knowledgeable in best practices and how to implement them
• Decisive—makes decisions based on analysis, experience, and professional judgment
• Consensus builder—both internally and with the community
• Highly visible and engaged leader with confidence, bearing, and respect
• A champion for the Fire and Emergency Services Department and its members

The position requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Fire, Public or Business Administration, or a related field, plus ten years of progressively increasing leadership experience with a career department. Five years of experience as a chief officer is preferred, but not required. Must possess a current and valid Michigan driver’s license or obtain one within 30 days of appointment.

Must currently have and maintain the following certifications, or the highest level of certification required to maintain the certification series: IFSAC or PRO Board Accredited Fire Officer I; Michigan or National Registry EMT-Basic; NIMS ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800 (within 60 days of appointment). National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer Accreditation preferred.

Questions should be directed to Lorne Kramer, KRW Associates Managing Partner, at or (719) 310-8960, or KRW Associate Barbara Smith at or (708) 466-8768.

Job Details
$90,515 - $113,040, DOQ
Job Function:
Fire Chief
Position Type:
Full Time
City of Ferndale
300 E Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220-1797
United States
Population: 20,000
Form of Government: Council-Manager