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Council appoints new fire chief

New fire chief Richard Schroeder speaks during the April 2 council meeting at which he was appointed to the position.

Rosemount firefighter Richard (Rick) Schroeder was selected to become the next fire chief. The Rosemount City Council appointed Schroeder to a three year term as chief effective immediately.

Schroeder will take over from longtime chief Scott Aker. Aker served as chief for 25 years and opted not to seek re-appointment. He was honored earlier in the evening for his service.

Aker will formally retire from the department at the end of April. Over the course of the next month he will help Schroeder transition into the role.

Schoeder has served on the department for 15 years. During his time, he has been a Lieutenant and Captain on the department.

Schoeder said he has the support of his family in taking on the role and looks foward to leading the department.

In a memo to the city council city administrator Dwight Johnson wrote that Schroeder is "a dynamic individual with considerable energy and drive to serve Rosemount."

Johnson said four members of the department applied to become chief. While all were qualified to hold the position, Johnson said Schroeder stood out.

Johnson said Schroeder, a Sergeant in the Dakota County Sheriff's Department, has substantial experience in both the public and private sector. Johnson wrote that his law enforcement background positions him well to help the department work closely with police. That experience also positions him to explore shared services with surrounding cities. He also has a strong educational background and is in the process of obtaining a graduate degree.

Johnson said Schroeder has a good understanding of the issues that will likely face the department in the coming years including daytime response and upgraded technology.

All four candidates were interviewed by a panel that consisted of firefighter Rob Sciamanda, firefighter Kerry Hiben, firefighter Jim Olinger, Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott, police chief Eric Werner and assistant city administrator Emmy Foster. Schroeder scored the highest with the panel.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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