Baker Rural Fire Department officially has a new fire chief on duty. Tom Bruha was selected the end of December as the new fire chief, and is taking over for Randy Hoenke, who is still on the department roster. “He has been a very good chief,” Bruha said.
By Lori Kesinger
Hoenke served as fire chief for 24 years. “I felt it was time for other personnel to move up. If I stayed they wouldn’t have that opportunity,” Hoenke said.
Bruha has 24 years of volunteer firefighter experience and has had several types of training. He will oversee the 27 member department and approximately 20 rural members.
Bruha plans to start with a focus on training for the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS, a system established by the National Fire Data Center for fire incident information), update equipment, and address the new storage building.
The department is responsible for not only fires, but many types of situations including motor vehicle extrications, Haz-Mat incidents, law enforcement assistance, and mutual aid with surrounding counties.
The department’s line officers also include Assistant Chief Brock Collins, Safety Training Officer Dale Butori, Captain Dick Chester, Captain Anthony Chester, and one vacant captain position to be filled in the immediate future.