Winkels appointed interim fire chief

Published 10:44 pm Monday, June 27, 2011

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams announced at the end of the Monday City Council meeting that he has appointed Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels as the new interim fire chief.

Winkels will oversee both departments during the next four months after Fire Chief Paul Stieler retires at the end of the week.

Stieler, 64, started with the city in 1973 and became fire chief in 2005.

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Adams said he interviewed eight applicants for the position and noted that there is a “good pool of talent” in the Fire Department.

He added that Winkels will bring leadership and continuity to the position and help the department advance.

Winkels said he will mainly provide fiscal and managerial oversight and noted the position is a natural fit for him being that it involves public safety.

He also noted the two departments have similar budgets.

During the interim, Adams will explore potential reorganization in the department.

Winkels will pick up a few extra hours working in the fire department, depending on case loads.

Veteran firefighters serving as captains and lieutenants will oversee day-to-day operations.