Etheridge to take over as Fire Chief

Posted: Monday, April 05, 2010

Juneau will soon have a new Fire Chief.

City Manager Rod Swope announced Wednesday that Richard "Rich" Etheridge, who has served as Juneau's Career Division Chief since October 2008, will take over as Fire Chief for Capital City Fire and Rescue on April 29.

Etheridge joined the Glacier Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in 1992. He was also employed by the Juneau Recovery Center as an EMT during that time.

He was appointed Fire Marshal in April 2003, and was then appointed to his current position. He also served as Acting Fire Chief for a year, following the loss of Chief Mike Fenster.

"We are extremely fortunate to have an individual of Rich's caliber and his many years of experience as a fire department administrator and volunteer firefighter/EMT," Swope said in a press release announcing the decision. "It is a real advantage to be able to promote an individual from within the Department who has already proven to be very capable and qualified for the position, in addition to knowing and understanding the community."

Eric Mohrmann, who has served as chief for the last six years, recently accepted a job as Emergency Coordinator for the Kenai borough in order to be closer to his family, according to the release.

Swope praised Mohrmann for expanding the summer EMT program, revitalizing the fire station live-in program, increasing the number of active volunteer firefighters, making needed improvements to the fire training center, and increasing the versatility and training of CCFR's firefighters and EMTs.

• Contact reporter Mary Catharine Martin at 523-2276 or

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