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Staats pushes through as fire chief

Egg Harbor Fire Chief Andy Staats knows there is a lot to accomplish as his probationary period was officially lifted last week. Staats has been the subject of controversy since he was promoted to the position of fire chief after the retirement of Steve Schopf.  He promoted his brother Jason to assistant chief and his wife Ashley to captain/EMS crew chief. That triggered some members of the Egg Harbor Fire Department to take a leave of absence in protest of the decision before eventually getting fired. A petition to remove Staats as fire chief started two months and has since collected over 450 signatures. Staats knew his decision would generate some conversation but also knows he installed qualified individuals into those roles.

Staats believes the camaraderie in the department has actually improved over the last several months, even as the pandemic has caused them to interact a little differently.

He says they hired a couple of new firefighters in the last few months but added that they are like many volunteer departments across the country with their recruitment struggles.

 

Picture from Egg Harbor Fire Department

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