Fire Chief Butch Fidler To Retire

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

Glenwood Fire Chief Robert “Butch” Fidler is retiring at the end of the month. Fidler, a 37-year veteran of the fire department, submitted his resignation in writing to city administrator Angie Winquist. The letter was presented to the Glenwood City Council at its regular meeting on Dec. 4.


“It is with heavy heart that I submit my resignation. The last 37 years at the Glenwood Fire Department have been wonderful,” Fidler said. “However, after 37 years in the fire fighting / EMS industry, it is time for me to retire. I am looking forward to taking much needed time off.”

Fidler added, “Since the fire association has deemed it necessary to obtain outsource billing, I don’t think my services would be beneficial at this time to the department.”

Fidler said his last day at the department will be Dec. 31 and he’d be happy to meet with city officials to discuss the transition of duties to his successor.

“I wish the City of Glenwood and the Glenwood Fire Department much success in the coming years,” he added.

Fidler’s successor as fire chief is expected to be appointed at the council’s Dec. 18, pending a recommendation from mayor Ron Kohn.

Council Approves Cardiac Equipment Purchase

After several minutes of discussion and debate, the council approved the purchase of three new cardiac monitors and a LUCAS chest compression system for the Glenwood Rescue Unit.

The council was presented paperwork from Virginia-based Physio-Control, Inc., showing the equipment has a retail value of $132,000, but could be purchased at a discounted rate of just under $79,000 (including $12,000 trade-in allowance for Glenwood Rescue’s current equipment) if ordered by Dec. 7.

Council members were told that Glenwood Rescue’s three current cardiac monitors are all at least 15 years old and are in need of frequent and costly repairs. The current monitors are also becoming a liability to public safety, paramedic Mike Brown said.

GVFD Assistant Chief Matt Gray said approximately $50,000 in donations, pledges and grants have been secured for the new equipment, leaving the balance at around $28,000. The balance could be less, Gray said, if additional grants are obtained. The balance will be paid off in quarterly installments beginning in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Gray said the discount on the equipment was a one-time end-of-the-year offer that would not be available after Dec. 7, so he urged the council to approve the purchase.

“It’s life-saving equipment,” Gray said. “I’m trying to save the city as much money as possible. For that $30,000, that’s going to be the price of one monitor in four days. Basically, you’re getting four pieces of equipment for the price of one and you’ll have state-of-the-art equipment for years to come.”

Before taking a vote, council members expressed concern about the rush to purchase the equipment, which will become the property of the city after it’s bought, but agreed with Mayor Ron Kohn that the purchase made fiscal sense and would be in the best interest of public safety.

Dan McComb, the lone council member to vote “no” on the purchase, said the city’s finances are still “upside down” and he doesn’t feel comfortable taking on additional debt for city taxpayers.

“Right now, I’m in favor of repairing the equipment on your squads and not going into debt,” McComb said.