New City, NY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day named Christopher Kear as his choice for Director of Fire and Emergency Services.
“Chris Kear is a highly trained and extremely experienced person who has already demonstrated his commitment to helping the people of Rockland,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Chris has been a career firefighter in Greenwich, CT, since 1998 and a volunteer at the Hillcrest Fire Company #1 since 1987. He understands the complexity of this position and has the expertise needed to succeed as Director.”
After former Director Gordon Wren retired last year a comprehensive recruitment effort was undertaken to find a new Director. The Job specification was updated to better align with the operational, administrative and strategic functions of the position. Candidates were then sought using social media, newspaper and on-line recruitment.
All candidates were required to provide cover letter, resume and references for pre-selection review with preference given to Rockland County residents. A panel was then selected to conduct a structured interview process with nine candidates. The panel was made up of five professionals from the Rockland County community representing a wealth of knowledge and experience in fire, emergency preparedness and service, police and 911, executive administration, as well as advisory boards and board members.
Questions were prepared with the input from all five panel members as subject matter experts in the field. Nine candidates then took part in structured interviews with the panel with consistent strategic questions.
The panel then deliberated and selected the final three candidates based on their responses to the interview questions, education/experience as well as breath of knowledge in the field. The three finalists were then reviewed and interviewed by the County Executive with Chris Kear being selected.
“We conducted this type of exhaustive search to ensure we found the best possible candidate for the position. The Director must be able to collaborate with Federal, State and local officials. Chris is highly qualified, and we expect him to bring great success to his new position,” said Day.
Mr. Kear served as Chief of Hillcrest Fire Company #1 from April 2007 thru April 2009. He was the Director of the Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association from March 2011 thru March 2015.
He has served as a Deputy Fire Coordinator for Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services since September 2013. Mr. Kear is certified as a Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist and has taught classes at the Fire Training Center in fire safety with kids and their parents.
Areas of focus for Director Kear include:
- Reducing false alarms throughout Rockland.
- Reviewing County Emergency Preparedness Plan and engaging in countywide drills.
- Increasing recruitment and retention of volunteers.
- “Facelift” of Fire Training Center, new class offerings, new ideas and care of the facility itself.
“Chris knows how to bring people together, how to work with all the separate departments and services to prepare for the worst,” Day said. “These are skills that he will use as Rockland Director of Fire and Emergency Services.”
Chris Kear replaces former Director Gordon Wren who retired in April 2018. The job pays $110,377 annually.