While it’s true that we need well-positioned facilities and dependable apparatus to provide the best possible emergency services, we can’t fulfill our mission without people to do the work — work that includes much more than fighting fires or helping the injured and ill. NKF&R is a “combination” department. While some fire jurisdictions may rely solely on volunteer staff and others may operate with paid personnel alone, we provide our service with a mixture of paid and volunteer staff.
NKF&R’s 45 paid officers, paramedics and firefighters are split into three shifts, arranged on the 48-hours-on/96-hours-off schedule. Each crew averages 56 hours on-duty per week. Every day, paid firefighters are working at each of the district’s four staffed stations. During their shift, crews do much more than answer alarms; they’re responsible for a host of other duties such as public education events, station maintenance, report writing, training, cleaning, pre-fire planning, hydrant maintenance, physical fitness training, special projects and more. NKF&R’s line personnel are represented by the International Association of Fire Firefighters, Local #2819. A staff medical services officer, division chief for training, the district’s shared facilities maintenance technician and three mechanics are also represented by IAFF Local #2819. Download an application here.
For more information about NKF&R’s bargaining unit, contact FF/PM Matt Thompson.
The district’s well-respected volunteer-intern program, in operation since 1987, provided nearly 200 aspiring fire service professionals with the experience and training to land paid careers in emergency services. The program was suspended in 2022 due to a lack of qualified applicants.
Although the numbers of volunteers have declined here as they have throughout the fire service, volunteer members who respond to incidents from their homes and businesses remain a vital component in our service delivery. Currently, NKF&R has about 12 active volunteers — and we’re always looking for more. If you’re interested in knowing more about our volunteer program, contact Assistant Chief Ryan Buchanan. Download an application packet here.
Leadership & Administration
Board of Fire Commissioners
NKF&R’s board is composed of five commissioners. Members of the Board, acting as representatives of the public to oversee management of the fire district, are elected at-large to staggered six-year terms. Board members (with end-date of the current term listed in parenthesis) are Gillian Gregory, Chairwoman (2027), Wilson Stewart (2027), Steve Neupert (2023), John Huntington (2023) and Patrick Pearson (2025).
To contact the entire board, send an e-mail to the board’s secretary, Katie Patti.
For additional information about the Board of Fire Commissioners, board meetings, special meetings, agendas and minutes, follow this link to the Board’s page.
Chiefs and Other Staff
NKF&R’s Fire Chief, Rick LaGrandeur, reports to the Board of Fire Commissioners and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the district. Assistant Chief Ryan Buchanan oversees emergency operations. Assistant Chief Ardyl Abrigo manages the district’s support services programs. Director of Administrative Services Katie Patti acts as Secretary to the Board in addition to managing the department’s clerical personnel and functions such as human resources, accounts receivable/payable, payroll, reception and more. Michèle Laboda, Community Services Specialist, heads NKF&R’s non-emergent public services that include prevention, public education and public information.