Fargo's assistant chief tapped to lead Grand Forks Fire Department
FARGO - The next fire chief in Grand Forks, N.D., hails from Fargo. Gary Lorenz, assistant chief of operations with the Fargo Fire Department, has been selected by Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown to fill the position recently held by Fire Chief Pete...
FARGO – The next fire chief in Grand Forks, N.D., hails from Fargo.
Gary Lorenz, assistant chief of operations with the Fargo Fire Department, has been selected by Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown to fill the position recently held by Fire Chief Peter O’Neill, who retired in January.
City Administrator Todd Feland said Brown appointed Lorenz to the position this week, and that Lorenz verbally accepted. City officials are still finalizing the details of his employment, including salary, Feland said, which should be concluded by the end of the week.
“I’ve been with the Fargo Fire Department for 28 years. I thought it would be a new, exciting opportunity,” Lorenz said.
He said he has no immediate plans for new projects at the department, adding that he wants to first familiarize himself with the “progressive path” that the department is on, noting in particular the newly opened south-end fire station and its recently upgraded safety rating.
Lorenz was among four finalists who visited Grand Forks last week for interviews with city leaders. He has been with the Fargo Fire Department since 1990, when he joined as a firefighter, and has since served as a captain and in multiple assistant chief roles.
“He was clearly the best candidate among the four and really separated himself from the other three candidates,” Feland said. "That was pretty unanimous and universal among the nine-member evaluation panel that we have.”
Other candidates included Michael Stanley, the medical branch commander with the Aurora, Colo., fire department; Bruce Weymier Jr., administrative battalion chief with the Grand Forks Fire Department; and Christopher Nelson, a Minnesota Ore Operations fire chief with United States Steel.
Since O’Neill’s retirement, Grand Forks’ fire crews have been led by Interim Chief Chad Cutshaw, a department veteran. Lorenz is expected to begin the job by May.