March 31, 2016 at 2:16 p.m.
Reed takes over for Chisago City’s fire chief from Bruce Peterson, who announced earlier this year that he would retire from the department after 20 years of service. Peterson became an assistant chief after his first five years, and he led the department as chief since 2007.
For Reed, training to become a firefighter was a passion that came from an early desire to volunteer locally. “The biggest thing was giving back to my community, that was the biggest draw,” he told the Chisago County Press. He started with family exposure to fire service, as he had an uncle and an older cousin who had volunteered with the Stacy-Lent department. “They were really my inspiration,” said Reed, who was approved for the chief’s position by the Chisago City Council March 22.
Reed became a fire captain in 2006, and third assistant chief in 2013. In that position, he was also the Chisago department’s training chief.
The department has more than 20 volunteer members, and each of them begins with Firefighter I and II certification training devoting their Tuesday and Thursday evenings each week for six to eight months. The initial training process also involves several Saturdays per month, and all of the Firefighter I and II training for Chisago department members primarily takes place in facilities owned by the Stacy-Lent department. Each of Chisago City’s firefighters, must complete 24 hours of continuing annual training in order to renew their certification. They also retain their Minnesota state licensing by completing 72 hours of training every three years.
“Most of our department members far exceed that,” Reed said.
He adds the Chisago firefighters take pride in their equipment and that they appreciate feelings of strong support from other community residents.
Reed became a trustee with the department’s relief association in 2002, and he was named the unit’s president in 2009. As the incoming fire chief, he will move into an ex-officio position with the relief association, which raises funds for equipment needs by managing licenses for charitable gaming at three businesses in the city (Scooters, Smitty’s, Chisago Roadhouse).
The relief association is required by law to give some of its gaming proceeds to support other causes (such as area youth programs) and Reed said that portion accounts for about 25 percent of the Chisago association’s current giving.
The department will rely on other relief association funds through gaming for furnishing the city’s new fire station, which is expected to open in late 2016 or early 2017, on Karmel Avenue.
City Council members recently approved bonding of $2.685 million to fund construction of that station (and the bonds will be scheduled for repayment over 20 years) but the department is responsible for funding other needs in the station, from light fixtures to an audio-visual system in the training room.
Reed said it will be an honor to be the city’s last active chief at the current fire hall between Highway 8 and Railroad Avenue, where the department has been based since the 1940s.
“I am looking forward to a bigger facility,” he noted. “It’s exciting.” The new station will total 11,725 square feet.
Reed works as a field service technician for Midcontinent Communications in Chisago City, Lindstrom and Center City. He and his wife, Bonnie, have a son, Logan, who is in seventh grade.
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