Springdale Names New Fire Chief

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Mike Irwin, of Pocatello, Idaho, was named the new Springdale Fire Chief by the Springdale Civil Service Commission Monday afternoon at the City Council Chambers.

Irwin has 23 years of experience. He has served as the fire chief in Pocatello since Jan. 2009.

"Obviously coming into a new community and a community like Springdale is very exciting," Michael Irwin said.

"It's a progressive community, very good fire department and it's just a wonderful opportunity for myself and my family," Irwin added.

Irwin said he plans to move to Springdale within the next three to four weeks.

"Until I get here and can sit down with the men and women of the department and find out what their needs are and where they are really at, that's what we are really going to focus on for the next couple of weeks," Irwin said.

The Springdale Civil Service Commission began interviewing 11 prospective candidates narrowed down out of 77 applicants in May.

"I know it was hard work and boy I tell ya they worked a long time but we wanted to get it right," Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said.

Former Fire Chief Duane Atha retired in December following a two-month paid suspension and investigation into allegations he received pay for time he didn’t work. No evidence was found.

Sprouse said Assistant Chief Kevin McDonald acted as interim chief and said the entire department united to function without a full-time chief.

"They did their job and they really stepped up. I think the citizens of Springdale will be very proud of our fire department," Sprouse said.

The investigation, however, did reveal photos from 2009 on Atha's computer that showed skantily clad women posing at a Springdale fire station with various fire equipment, including on fire trucks and in uniforms.

5NEWS Reporter Jocelyne Pruna will introduce us to the new chief on 5NEWS at 6 p.m.