The West County EMS & Fire Protection District is searching for a new fire marshal after Terry DeGuentz resigned from the position on Oct. 4.
West County provides fire service for parts of Ballwin.
The fire district isn't releasing many details about the resignation citing personnel matters.
"We don't discuss personnel issues," Fire Chief Ernie Rhodes tells Patch.
"He left on his own accord to pursue other professional options," Deputy Chief Jeff Sadtler tells Patch. "He did just finish his degree."
Patch spoke to DeGuentz who confirmed his resignation and said that he recently received his bachelor's degree in fire science. He said after working in the fire field for 28 years, he is going in a "different direction" and is looking to work in the environmental health and safety field. DeGuentz is also currently still studying engineering.
"It has been a healthy change for me," DeGuentz tells Patch.
DeGuentz had worked for West County EMS and Fire for approximately five years prior to his resignation, according to district officials. He worked one year as a firefighter and four as the fire marshal.
Sadtler said former district fire chief, David Frazier, whose position "changed to "deputy chief of logistics" in June, is the district's acting fire marshal.
As previously reported by Patch, Frazier's position changed from fire chief to deputy chief of logistics on June 11.
New West County EMS and Fire Protection District Fire
District officials say although the timing of hiring the new chief and DeGuentz resigning are close, they are unrelated.
Rhodes tells Patch, the fire district is in the process of conducting interviews but may take a different approach in selecting a candidate.
In the past, the district has typically promoted from within for the fire marshal position, but it is considering hiring a civilian who is degreed in a qualified field such as fire protection engineering.
Rhodes said he's not sure when the new fire marshal will be hired, but said it will be "as soon as possible."
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