Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will soon have a new chief. That process has not been hindered by the recent dismissal of former Chief Jim Sideras.

On April 11, it was announced that Sideras would retire from the Fire Department and his last day would be June 30. When the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation searched the Sideras home on May 2, the plans were already in motion to make the transition.

Sioux Falls Director of Human Resources Bill O’Toole outlined the hiring process up to now with what will take place in the near future.

“The City of Sioux Falls has been preparing for a change in this position for some time. We did engage in multiple interviews on Monday and Tuesday of this week.”

Eight people have applied for the position and have gone through the first phase of the process. “What’s happening next is that the interview panel that took part in this process will be making recommendations to the mayor,” O’Toole said. “(Mayor Huether) will conduct his own interviews of the finalists. Once selected we will move toward final approval from the City Council for advice and consent. This is moving along as efficiently as possible.”

O’Toole did not reveal any information about the candidates except that all are all from within the department. “We thought the next leadership position was going to come from within the strong men and women that exist in Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.”

Undoubtedly Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has been shaken by the recent revelations. Mayor Huether publicly praised the men and women who serve in that department, lifting them up to the community as a group that gives of themselves to the city of Sioux Falls every day.

“Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has busted their butts over the years to be recognized as one of the best in the United States. Even with this tragic situation, the Sioux Falls Fire Rescue team is absolutely one of the best in the United States. They are going to continue to bust their butts to achieve even more. That’s what they do.”

All further information about the Jim Sideras criminal case will be administered by the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation.

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