Davenport Fire Department
Contributed art

The next fire marshal in the city of Davenport will be chosen from six candidates.

A decision will be announced this week. Captain Ron Burchette, District Chief Mike Carlsten, District Chief Paul Hartman, Captain Robb Macdougall, Captain Jim Morris and Lt. Nate Wilson are the six candidates to replace the late Mike Hayman.

Employment Manager Stacy Ihrig said during Wednesday's Civil Service Commission meeting that the city received seven applications for the position, but one application was disqualified because it came from an external application.

The fire marshal position was listed as a promotion opportunity, and a requirement was having five years of service with the Davenport Fire Department.

Hayman, a 33-year veteran of the fire department, died Oct. 12.

Since then, Morris has acted as the interim fire marshal.

Prior to Hayman's death, discussions about recruitment for the fire marshal and assistant chief of operations position had begun because Interim Chief Jim Bickford and Hayman had announced their intent to retire in 2019.

In October, the Civil Service Commission lowered the minimum qualifications for both positions at the request of City Administrator Corri Spiegel.

Spiegel sought to waive the formal education requirement and replace it with the requirement of five years as a fire officer. A fire officer is defined as the rank of lieutenant or above.

A waiver of the successive rank provision also was approved that allowed fire officers with five years experience to apply for the position.

Spiegel wrote in a memorandum to the commission that "by waiving this provision, it will allow for a competitive and optimized hiring process and succession strategy for the aforementioned positions."

Spiegel told the commission that the candidate pool would be too small if the waivers were not granted.

In the biographies listed on the city's website, neither Macdougall nor Morris has a college degree, but both are currently working toward one.

Macdougall and Morris also have been involved in the Davenport Strengths Institute, the city's internal cross-department strengths-based leadership development program. 

Hartman has the longest tenure, having joined the department in 1985 and serving as a district chief since 2006. He is trained in emergency medical services, law enforcement, rescue, HAZMAT, arson investigation, dispatch, incident and scene command and communications.

Burchette is a 26-year veteran of the fire department and has experience in management and hazardous material operations. He is a member of the Iowa Homeland Security Board and Commission and serves as an instructor at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Carlsten is a 24-year veteran of the department and has served as district chief for past 11 years. Carlsten has the most formal education of the candidates having received associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees. He also has received numerous certifications as a CPR instructor, and in confined space, trench rescue and ice rescue.

Wilson has more than 20 years of experience having also served on the East Moline Fire Department. He holds certifications as an investigator, officer, instructor and firefighter while also holding an associate's degree in emergency medical services. Wilson also is a member of the Davenport Police Department Tactical Emergency Medical Services team.

Morris joined the department in 1996 and served as the lieutenant fire marshal from April 2007-August 2017. He was awarded the Governor's Award for outstanding contribution to the state after being named investigator of the year in 2011. A sworn fire investigator, Morris also is a HAZMAT technician, a tactical medic for the Davenport Police Department and a member of the statewide juvenile fire-setters task force.

Macdougall is a 22-year veteran with the majority of his service spent as a fire cause and origin specialist. Macdougall has received a paramedicine certification and is a HAZMAT technician for the department. He also has advanced training in automobile extrication.

The six candidate possess more than 150 years of combined fire service experience.