Retired chief to help explore area fire merger

John NeihartColby fire chief Ross Rannow, center, listens to a question from an audience member at Tuesday night’s committee meeting at Abbotsford City Hall. Also seen are Dorchester firefighter David Martin, left, and Colby firefighter Joe Mueller.

A retired fire chief with extensive experience working in a fire district has agreed to help investigate the possibility of merging the Abbotsford, Colby and Dorchester fire and ambulance services. And, as a bonus, he’s willing to do the work for free.
As its first order of business, a 24-person committee exploring a potential consolidation voted Tuesday to hire John Neihart of Lake Hallie as a volunteer consultant. He will evaluate each department’s equipment, review their service areas, talk to the fire and EMT chiefs and come back with a recommendation at the committee’s next meeting April 14.

To read the rest of this story pick up the February 18 issue of The Tribune-Phonograph; or subscribe online at

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