This file part of chapter on Fire Department
Selected as new Fire Chief
03 23 Steven Beer, assistant chief of operations for the Fond du Lac Fire Department, selected to be the new chief of the Watertown Fire Department.
Steve Hepp, chairman of the Watertown Police and Fire Commission, said Beer was selected for the position from a group of five finalists.
Beer will undergo a background check, psychological and physical testing and will meet with the common council's finance committee regarding his compensation package. Following those routine steps the commission intends to formally offer the position. The intent is to have the new chief on board by early May.
The new chief designate has 21 years of service on the Fond du Lac department and is a graduate of Waupun High School. He and his wife, Michelle, are currently living in Brandon, a small community near Fond du Lac. They have two children, a son who is a third year student at University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a daughter who is a high school senior and is planning to attend the nursing school at Trinity Christian College in suburban Chicago.
He has an associate degree in fire science from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor's degree from Marian College in Fond du Lac.
The fire chief position has been open since Nov. 30, 2010, when former Chief Henry Butts resigned amid an internal investigation of the department. Assistant Chief Kraig Biefeld was named acting chief upon Butts' departure and will continue in that position until the new chief begins his new duties.
04 01 Steven Beer declines appointment
Beer informed the city that he will not be taking the job. In a letter written to the Police and Fire Commission Beer said he wasn't going to accept the position because of the recent police shooting in Fond du Lac that killed one officer and wounded another.
“The untimely event of this past week in Fond du Lac has had me searching for answers. Knowing the officers who were injured and killed, being the on-scene fire commander and seeing the community and fire and police departments come together was, and is, something special. This incident is a game changer for all involved. I feel that walking away at this time would not be appropriate for the city of Fond du Lac and the department. The healing has started but we have a long way to go. This has been one of the hardest decisions in my life.”
Steven Beer, Assistant Chief of Operations, Fond du Lac Fire Department
The fire chief position has been open since Nov. 30, 2010, when former Chief Henry Butts resigned amid an internal investigation of the department. Assistant Chief Kraig Biefeld was named acting chief upon Butts' departure and will continue to serve that position until a new chief is on board.