A new fire/EMS chief has been hired for the Kamiah area. The following is information from a release provided today (Friday, Oct. 16) from the City of Kamiah:

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In a combined effort and in the authority of the Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Kamiah and the Kamiah Rural Fire District, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Arsenault as the Kamiah area’s new Fire/EMS Chief. This selection follows the retirement of Dan Musgrave who served in Kamiah for 41 years.

Arsenault will be sworn-in Oct. 28, at the fire station, with his reporting date Nov. 2, where he will lead a staff of 20 Fire/EMS personnel.

The City and District conducted a national search that resulted in well-qualified and exemplary applicants. Leading candidates participated in a competitive and comprehensive interview process, which included application/credential reviews by outside area fire chiefs, panel-based interviews, as well as one-on-one interviews with both the City and the District.

“We attracted a number of well-qualified candidates both on a regional and national level for this search,” said City Clerk/HR Manager Stephanie Dyche.

In a combined effort, both Mayor Betty Heater and District Chairman Dan Musgrave stated, "We are very excited to welcome Bill Arsenault as the new Fire/EMS Chief. The Kamiah Fire-Rescue organization has played a very important part in our community for a long time. We have been fortunate to have generations of dedicated professionals who have protected and cared for us. As we look ahead to the future, it is essential the new leader prepare our community for significant changes in the emergency response profession. Bill Arsenault has proven his ability to be both, a great Fire/EMS Chief and leader, who can prepare the organization for these changes.”

Arsenault currently serves with Idaho Falls Fire Department and has more than 25 years of experience in fire service. He began his fire service as a volunteer with the Black Eagle Fire Department (MT) in 1994. Since that time, he has continued to work for volunteer fire departments, combination Fire-EMS departments, career EMS agencies, full-time Fire-EMS departments, and wildland fire-based agencies (DNR, BLM, USFS) serving in various roles.

These have included First Responder, EMT, EMS Instructor, EMS Training Officer, Firefighter/EMT, Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Instructor, Apparatus Engineer, Move-up Company Officer, Engine Captain, Operations Lead, Move-up Chief Officer. Along with that, Bill has worked as member with Regional and National Incident Management Teams for the US Forest Service as a Medical Unit Leader, Military Aviation Liaison, and several other operational

positions. With Idaho Falls FD, he also was the Wildland Fire Program Manager for four (4) years, developing the program for 65 IFFD firefighter EMTs/Paramedics who participated in local, regional and national wildland fire response as line-personnel and apparatus response.

Arsenault currently holds two associate degrees in Structural Fire Science and Wildland Fire Management and is finishing his Associates in Emergency Medical Services and Bachelor’s in Fire Service Administration from Idaho State University. He holds numerous International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certifications, including Fire Officer designation and is currently completing his advanced Chief Officer credentials thru the Alabama Fire College. He is also a 29-year veteran of EMS having been a First Responder in the early 90’s, transitioning to an EMT in mid-90s, and becoming a Paramedic in the 1999.

Bill has also served in the US Army, serving both active-duty and national guard, and has number of awards from that service. He was a combat-medic (116th BCT), flight Paramedic (Guardian Medevac), and a medical section unit leader (183rd Attack Helicopter Battalion), completing his combat tour in December 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He is also an Idaho State EMS Instructor, Structural/Wildland Fire Instructor, and in a very honored position, an Adjunct Instructor for the US Fire Administration at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, with specialties in Fire Service Leadership and Safety Programs.

Bill is a published writer for Fire and EMS magazines that have served both a national and international market. He has also been an active EMS participant serving as the EMS Instructor Representative for Idaho Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee. He has also been a member of the EMSAC Grants Subcommittee for the last six (6) years. Currently he also is a member of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association and the Idaho Advocate for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

“Chief Arsenault will be joining us as we transition to an organization that is absolutely committed to our citizens and guests,” said Heater. “In particular, I am grateful to Chief Dan Musgrave who served as our interim fire chief during the search process. He is a well-respected individual not only in our community but also on a regional basis in regard to emergency management. It was an honor to work closely with him during this period of time.”

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