Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

Retired Fire Chief Reflects On Tenure

Hometown Guy Rick Wynne Led Department 16 Years


January 2, 2020

Kimball Fire Department

Rick Wynne, shown here in 1990, served 16 years as Kimball fire chief. The chief serves a one-year term and is elected by members of the fire department.

Born and raised in Kimball, retired Kimball Fire Chief Rick Wynne dedicated most of his adult life to the Kimball Fire Department. He said he joined the department in 1990 because "that is where all my friends were. It was just the way it worked."

And now, after all those years of service, he was not overly excited to have an interview.

"I am not the kind of person that likes a lot of attention," he said.

This homegrown Kimball guy just completed 16 years as chief. He served eight years, then took a two year "vacation" and then served another eight years.

The title of chief now belongs to his successor, Andrew Bohac.

When asked about his long term dedication to the fire department, Wynne credited the stability of the department and lack of turnover in personnel. He also said he was fortunate to run his own business and could take off when needed to deal with department issues and check out fire calls.

Under his leadership, the department bought five new trucks, two grass rigs, a command unit, a new tanker and a new pumper.

The fire chief has lots of responsibilities that include, naturally, attending fires, writing incident reports, issuing burn permits, and answering questionable calls about fires.

The chief also must pay the bills, take care of the equipment, pay the insurance, service the truck and maintain the building. The budget falls under the responsibility of the chief.

The current fire department has a membership of 26 although through its bylaws it can have up to 40 firefighters.

Wynne said the extra time that he will have will be spent tending to his mother and her needs.


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