BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — According to a news release the city has hired David Schmaltz to serve as its fire chief, starting Feb. 3.
Schmaltz most recently served as the fire chief for the City of Defiance, Ohio. He held that position since November of 2010. He also has worked with fire departments in Miami Township, Miamisburg, Ohio and the City of Coldwater, Mich.
Schmaltz has more than 20 years of experience. A Michigan native, Schmaltz graduated from Clawson High School, the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in fire and safety engineering technology, and Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. with a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership. He trained as an executive fire officer at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. “I am extremely humbled to have been chosen to lead such a great organization,” Schmaltz said. “I am excited to be returning to Michigan and locating only 30 minutes from where I started my fire service career 20 years ago.”
The position of fire chief was held previously by Larry Hausman, who retired in April of 2013 after nearly 40 years of service with the Battle Creek Fire Department and 15 years as chief. “I am really looking forward to Dave coming on board as our fire chief,” said City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama. “We had some excellent candidates, but Dave’s background, experience and skill set — including his excellent communication skills and commitment to building productive working relationships — is the best fit for what our community and city organization need right now.”
The department is professionally staffed with 71 personnel assigned to one of three 24‐hour shifts for emergency response. There is also one fire inspector, a training officer, two battalion chiefs and the fire chief.
The department staffs five stations throughout the city and administrative offices are located in a sixth building at 195 E. Michigan Ave.
The department responds to more than 5,000 calls annually and provides services including fire suppression, medical and hazardous material responses, rescue, confined space emergencies, pre‐fire inspections, fire prevention and public education.