Brinnon board: Fire chief is gone

BRINNON — Bob Herbst, who served as chief of the Brinnon Fire Department since 2005, has left his post by mutual agreement with the department’s Board of Commissioners, according to one of the commissioners.

“We both decided that his contract would not be renewed,” said Meril Smith.

“There are all sorts of rumors going around about this, but he didn’t do anything wrong.”

The decision was made at a special board meeting June 19. Herbst could not be reached for comment.

Smith said that until a replacement is found, the chief’s duties will be rotated among three career firefighters: Curtis Lightner, Orlando Dias and Zachary Dean.

Smith said the board had not made any plans for finding a replacement and expected the rotating arrangement to be in effect for several months.

Lightner, 24, said all the officers received the same instructions.

He added that he would not apply for the chief’s position.

“I need a lot more education and a lot more training,” he said.

In addition to the three paid officers and an administrative assistant, the department has 14 volunteers.

It has recently upgraded its capability to provide 24-hour service, Smith said.

Lightner said the fire staff was given minimal information about the action and were told the department had grown beyond Herbst’s ability to manage it.

Lightner said that no one in the department had any contact information for Herbst.

Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

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