Finalists named for chief of Clallam County Fire District 3

Four candidates hail from Florida, California, Washington state

SEQUIM — Four finalists are being considered for the next chief of Clallam County Fire District 3.

Finalists were announced on Nov. 7.

They are: Ronald Martin, current mass care coordinator for Lee County Board of County Commissioners in Florida; J. Kevin Nalder, most recently fire chief for the City of Palm Springs, Calif., from 2015-2022; John Payne, current assistant fire chief of the Bremerton Fire Department; and Patrick Reid, current deputy fire chief for the City of Pasco.

“The candidates bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of fire and emergency management (and they’ve) carefully evaluated each candidate based on their qualifications, leadership skills, and commitment to public safety,” fire commissioners stated in a press release.

The following information was provided by Clallam County Fire District 3 and Prothman, the Issaquah-based recruitment firm the district hired to find a new chief.

Ronald Martin has worked in fire service for 30-plus years and has held various positions at Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District since 2003, including lieutenant, fire marshal, executive assistant fire chief and fire chief-district manager (2021-23). Martin holds a master’s degree in Homeland Security/Emergency Management from Long Island University, a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Hodges University, an associate’s degree in Fire Science Technology from Edison State College, and he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

J. Kevin Nalder was fire chief for the City of Palm Springs for about eight years. Previously, he was the director of the Fire Department, Building Department and Office of Emergency Management for the City of Kirkland from 2009-2015. Nalder was with the City of Salt Lake City, Utah, fire department from 1985-2009. He started there as a paramedic/firefighter and was promoted through the ranks, serving in positions including captain, battalion chief, fire marshal-division chief and deputy chief. He has a bachelor’s degree in Public Emergency Services Management from Utah Valley University, and he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

John Payne has been with the Bremerton Fire Department since 1994, when he began as a paramedic/firefighter and was promoted through the ranks to serve as lieutenant, captain, battalion chief and in 2019 became assistant fire chief. Payne has a master’s degree in Security Studies — Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Administration from Waldorf College, an associate’s of Applied Science degree in Fire Science from Southern Columbia University, and he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

Patrick Reid has more than 30 years of fire and emergency management experience and has been the deputy fire chief for the City of Pasco since 2020. Previously, he was the deputy fire chief for the City of Yakima’s fire department from 2017- 2020. Reid also served the Fort Irwin Fire Department in California as division chief, and he was with Fort Belvoir Fire & Emergency Services in Virginia from 1990-2012, where he served as fire chief for 12 years. He has a master’s degree in Management & Leadership from Western Governors University and a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Services Management from Utah Valley University, where he also received associate degrees in Emergency Management and Fire Officer.

There were 19 applicants total, fire districts leaders said, with fire commissioners setting a tentative goal for a new chief to start in January.

The new chief would succeed former fire chief Ben Andrews, who exercised a contract option on April 26 to work remotely and retire a year later.

Assistant fire chief Dan Orr has served as interim fire chief and he plans to stay on only for a short time to help with the transition before retiring, he said.

Prothman’s warranty states if the district follows the major elements of its process and a top candidate is not chosen, or a finalist is terminated or resigns within one year from the employment date, they will repeat the recruitment process with no additional professional fee, aside from expenses.

For more about Clallam County Fire District 3, visit ccfd3.org.

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