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Scott Payne named new Dilworth fire chief

Payne will take over on Dec. 1, and current Chief Mark Empting will be stepping down on Nov. 30.

Three men hold a giant check in front of a fire truck.
Scott Payne, on left, with Mark Empting, on right, accepting a donation in September from MRGA.
Submitted photo
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DILWORTH — Dilworth will welcome Scott Payne as the city's new fire chief following Mark Empting's decision to step down at the end of the month.

Dilworth City Council unanimously voted to hire Payne, the current assistant chief, to fill the role on Monday, Nov. 28. He begins his new position on Dec. 1.

“We’ll be in great hands going forward,” council member Steven Jesme said.

Payne will be taking over for Empting, who's been the fire chief at Dilworth for the past nine years. His last day on the job will be Nov. 30.

The Clay County Sheriff will continue to serve as a firefighter in the department.

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“I can say without a doubt that (Empting) has been incredible and professional,” City Administrator Peyton Mastera said, adding that Empting has always been reliable and a boon to their fire department.

Empting, who was an assistant fire chief before taking on the chief job, has been with the Dilworth Fire Department for 31 years.

“On behalf of a grateful city, thank you very much,” Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson said to Empting.

Interviews for the position were conducted at the fire hall last week, according to Empting, and the Board of Fire Officers, which is comprised of a city council member and three members of the fire department, ultimately recommended Payne for the job.

Payne thanked Empting for his leadership and his fellow firefighters for their great work. "We're a family," he said.

The fire department, which is classified as a paid/on-call fire department, has about 31 members.

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