Fire chief resignsAfter serving four years as chief of the River Falls Fire Department, Bob Schwalen resigned from the position effective Friday, June 12.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
After serving four years as chief of the River Falls Fire Department, Bob Schwalen resigned from the position effective Friday, June 12.
When asked why he’s stepping down, Schwalen said, “It’s for personal reasons. I’ll leave it at that.”
He joined the department in 1985 and says he’ll be staying on as a River Falls firefighter, just not the chief.
At the City Council meeting this week, council members and Police and Fire Commission Chairman DeWayne Meyer praised Schwalen’s years of service and dedication.
They recognized that the chief actually resigned last year but twice agreed to an additional six-month stint as chief while River Falls worked through hiring a full-time paid chief.
That person’s hiring status remains in limbo as River Falls discusses the job description as well as long-term funding of the position.
Schwalen confirmed that no members of the department or assistant chiefs have expressed interest in taking the interim, mostly volunteer position until the city hires someone. The job pays $500 a month and about $24 per fire.
The soon-to-be-former chief said firefighters will select an interim chief at its weekly Monday meeting then present their choice to the PFC for final approval.
Read more about where the city stands in hiring a full-time paid chief in the June 18 print edition of the River Falls Journal.