BELGRADE - Central Valley Fire District Chief Ron Lindroth was placed on paid, administrative leave and the big question has been why.
“Currently we had the chief completing administrative duties only at home as he was recovering from COVID, and it came to a situation where we needed to address the leadership situation at the department,” said Central Valley Fire District (CVFD) Board Chairman Ty Elliot.
During the September 14th meeting, Dustin Pitman, the president of the local union expressed concerns:
- Firefighter safety and burnout due to staffing shortages.
- Retention of members after the loss of two senior leaders within the previous month
- Safety concerns responding to emergencies due to radio failures
- Lastly, a lack of overall strategic plan and leadership guidance for the direction of the department.
“We received a lot of information at the public meeting last month which helped lead to the decision that we had to make,” said Elliot.
And before the September meeting at the January meeting, the former union president said: “Many stresses must be faced while fulfilling the mission at Central Valley Fire District and stress from the leadership should not be one of them.” A decision was made during the November 9th meeting.
“All in approval of the motion, please say I. I. Opposed? Okay, motion carries.”
This brings us to now.
“We are in the process of completing an investigation that will ultimately lead… on completion of the investigation to the decision that we will be making for the fire department,” said Elliot.
But how long could that take?
‘It’s very tough to put a day's timeline on that situation because of everything going on in our current environment but we are working on the process very diligently to come to a decision on the future of the department as soon as possible,” said Elliot.
The Board chairman says any new information from this investigation will be announced during the public meetings on the second Tuesday of the month.