Spokane County Fire District 4 (located in Deer Park) named former Assistant Chief Bill Neckels as Fire Chief, effective August 1st. The outgoing Fire Chief, Randy Johnson, will fill an Executive Officer role in the district.
“I love the people that make up Fire District 4,” Neckels said. “The fire service is always quick to
talk about family, but I believe this district shows a true example of that.” Fire District 4 staffs a combination of approximately 200 full time, part time, and volunteer personnel at 10 fire stations within the district. The district is always looking for more volunteers, especially at its outlying stations, Neckels said. “We train such good firefighters the other departments are looking to snatch them up right away,” he laughed. Several volunteer training sessions happen throughout the year, and those looking to serve their community as a volunteer firefighter should call Fire Station 4 for further information. Chief Neckels has been with District 4 for five years as Assistant Chief. He brings over 30 years of fire experience to the Chief’s position. After a career with the US Forest Service, Chief Neckels became the Deputy Chief at Chelan County Fire District 1. He and his wife, Cori Neckels, live in Elk.
Chief Neckels met former District 4 Chief Randy Johnson while Neckels was a volunteer
firefighter with the Jackson Hole, Wyoming Fire and EMS. Johnson was the training chief there.
Neckels said he and Johnson have worked well together in their years in both Wyoming and
Deer Park. Johnson’s appointment to the Executive Officer role for District 4 was part of a “long term successional planning for projects and for planning for the next fire chief,” Neckels said. “Our commissioners had the foresight to look to the future.” Johnson will serve as a mentor for Neckels, but his greater role will be “to focus on different tasks and special projects like capital improvement projects and grant opportunities,” said Neckels. “Those projects that take some special emphasis and special focus. It puts another arrow in our quiver so to speak.” For example, Johnson spent a week in late August in Washington, DC, Neckels said. There he
was “working on an upper level leadership training with the US Forest Service.”
Photo Courtesy of Spokane Fire District 4
Caption: Newly appointed Fire Chief Bill Neckels