Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:58 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interim chief to be selected for AP service area

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

Following the departure of Ben Maxon from his post as chief of the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area, the search is on for a replacement, with an interim chief to be named next week. In the meantime, Kayt Ligenza Andrews, the service area's EMS chief who served as assistant to the chief, is filling in.

Maxon, the son of former Homer Chief of Police Don Maxon, became Anchor Pont's chief July 1, following Bob Craig's retirement from service as APFESA's administrator. Maxon resigned his post Nov. 28. He has since moved to the Lower 48 to be with family, Maxon told the Homer News.

Applications for interim chief were accepted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough through Dec. 22.

"We did receive a handful of applications," said Mark Dixson, the borough's general services director. "We did an initial review on Friday (Dec. 23) and are still going through the process."

With KPB Mayor Mike Navarre out of town, selection of the interim chief will not be made until after his return next week.

Although there are no specific qualifications for interim chief, Dixson said "we would like to get as close to fire chief as we can, but there is no requirement that we do."

According to a position description provided by Dixson, the chief is responsible for the supervision and direction of the department, including fire, medical, rescue and hazardous material; budget development and implementation; and personnel evaluations. Minimum qualifications include:

• A bachelor's degree related to public service or equivalent experience of at least 10 years of professional firefighting and emergency medical service experience;

• Documented administrative experience supervising personnel, budgets and equipment;

• A valid Alaska driver's license to perform all job functions;

• Completion of the four-year National Fire Academy Executive Fire Office Program is highly desired;

• Excellent computer skills;

• Knowledge of communications equipment;

• Proficiency in budget management;

• At least five years experience in supervising personnel and volunteers.

After taking an EMT 1 class at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2001, Andrews began volunteering with APFEMSA. She took additional training through the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. Upon completion of paramedic training in Pittsburgh, Pa., she was hired in 2007 as a paramedic for the city of Pittsburgh.

Returning to Alaska, Andrews taught in the southern region of the state, offering training on "everything from CPR to advanced cardiac life support," she said. Earlier this year, she accepted the volunteer position of Anchor Point's EMT chief.

Navarre said he met with the service area board this month, discussing the appointment of an interim chief "and figuring out from there how to best deal with the service area. ... I talked with them about working together to best meet the needs of the service area and the residents of Anchor Point."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.