Naples to interview four applicants for fire chief position

— The search for a new Naples fire chief is underway.

Four candidates for the city’s fire chief will be in town beginning June 18 interviewing for the job, according to an e-mail to Naples City Council from City Manager Bill Moss.

The city is looking to replace current fire chief Jim McEvoy, whose last day is Friday. McEvoy announced earlier this year he would be retiring after nearly 30 years with the department.

The nationwide search for a new chief began April 20, said Denise Perez, the city’s human resource director. Perez said 24 people applied for the position, before the city narrowed the candidate list down to four.

None of the four candidates are from within the department, but Moss said that wasn’t because no one applied. Moss said he received at least one application from within the department, but said that person did not make the cut to the final four.

The four candidates for the position are:

• Kingman Schuldt

Schuldt has been the chief of finance and administration for Boynton Beach Fire and Rescue since December. Prior to joining the Boynton Beach department, Schuldt was the deputy chief of operations with Tarmac Fire and Rescue in Broward County. He’s also served as an independent contractor with the International Association of Fire Chiefs

• Derryl O’Neal

O’Neal has been the fire chief for Madeira Beach fire department since May 2001. Prior to joining the Madeira Beach fire department, O’Neal was a lieutenant inspector for the Polk County fire department. O’Neal is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Florida Fire Marshals Association.

• Edward Moran

Moran was the town of Palm Beach’s fire chief from 2005 until 2007, when he resigned for “professional reasons,” according to his application. Prior to his time in Palm Beach, Moran spent about 30 years with the Hollywood’s fire department. Moran is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Florida Fire Chiefs Association.

• Stephen McInerny II

McInerny was the assistant chief of operations for the Fort Lauderdale fire department until March 30, when he agreed to retire under the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Program. McInerny was with the department for 27 years. Prior to his time in Fort Lauderdale, McInerny was an oil spill response coordinator for Cape Canaveral Marine Services and a firefighter with the Broward County fire department. He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

The candidates will be interviewed on either June 18 or June 19 by a city selection committee. The panel will consist of Moss, city department heads and Marco Island fire chief Mike Murphy.

Moss said it isn’t that out of the ordinary to have someone like Murphy sit on a selection committee.

“We’ve done this before,” Moss said. “On the police chief (selection committee) we had three citizens on it.”

Moss said he wanted someone with a fire background on the selection committee, and Murphy is knowledgeable about the applicants’ backgrounds. McEvoy will not be on the committee, Moss said, because he will be on vacation.

McEvoy makes $114,337 a year, not including benefits. Perez said the salary range for the position is $80,504 to $108,892, depending on qualifications.

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