For the third year in a row, Joe Leszek will be filling the shoes of North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Chief, having been nominated by the 25-member department. Mike Scutchfield remains as the assistant fire chief despite being nominated by Leszek for the chief position, as Scutchfield’s work schedule did not allow enough time for him to handle the additional responsibilities. Fortunately, Leszek said the teamwork between the pair is phenomenal.
“It’s great. Mike Scutchfield is a great assistant chief; I nominated him for chief this year, and with his work schedule, he’s just unable to fulfill some of the responsibilities that the town board has. Hopefully in the near future he’ll be taking over for me!” Leszek said.
Having been with the department for nine years, Leszek said he has held various titles including firefighter, treasurer, and assistant chief. Leszek said he did not express his desire for the position; despite that, the department elected him as chief, and he said that nomination was an honor.
“I felt very honored that our members believe in me enough to put me in that position for another year, and hopefully I will continue to help improve our department,” Leszek said.
On top of his extra responsibilities, which include the mandatory attendance of town board meetings, handling department issues and issues between the town and the fire department, Leszek said he has a number of issues in mind that he wants to tackle during his next year as chief.
“We definitely want to get back on a training schedule; we really want to stress training. Even though some of it is redundant and we’re going to be doing it every couple of months, but being in the positions that we’re in, we need to definitely stay up on our training, and we’d also like to try to acquire some new equipment. Any time we can better train and better equip our guys, that’s going to help the citizens in the community,” said Leszek.