New fire chief named


Dave Hanneman was announced as the new chief of the Idaho Falls Fire Department this morning. Hanneman will begin work Oct. 20.

Hanneman is currently the chief of the Chula Vista Fire Department in Chula Vista, Calif., a post he has held since 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience in firefighting and emergency medical services, according to a city news release.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the Idaho Falls Fire Department, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, both with the staff and the community,” Hanneman said in the release.

Hanneman has a master’s degree in professional technical education from the University of Idaho, along with a bachelor’s in fire service technology from Boise State University. He served at departments in the Boise area before moving to California.

Mayor Rebecca Casper announced the hiring to fire department representatives in a staff meeting at the City Council Chambers at 8:30 a.m.

“Chief Hanneman has a breadth of experience, all of which I think will benefit this department,” Casper said following the meeting. “Most particularly, a strength in strategic planning.”

Hanneman will permanently replace Dean Ellis. Ellis stepped down as chief May 16 to become manager of fire service training at Eastern Idaho Technical College.

Duane Nelson, a driver/operator, acted as interim chief during the search for a new position. He had also sought to be appointed as permanent chief. Casper said Hanneman has expressed interest in keeping Nelson on in the department’s upper management.

“Duane Nelson has exhibited incredible strength of character through this whole process,” Casper said. “He took on all the difficult things that a chief would do.”

Nelson and Hanneman were two of the three finalists considered for the position.

The city’s fire chief position pays an annual salary of $100,609.