Affton Fire Protection District names new chief

Nick Fahs

Nick Fahs

After a months-long search, the Affton Fire Protection District has hired a new fire chief.

The board voted to hire longtime Mehlville Fire Protection District Capt. Nickolas “Nick” R. Fahs for its top job.

“Our board is excited to bring on Nick Fahs as our new chief,” Affton Fire Protection District Board of Directors Chairman Terry Bader stated in a news release. “He comes to Affton with over 30 years of experience in the fire prevention field, and we believe he will use his experience to continue to improve and enhance our already outstanding professional team.”

Bader said the district began its search for a new chief after Chief Jim Fritz announced he would retire in December. The nationally advertised search resulted in nine eligible applicants. Those applicants were interviewed by a community-based oral review panel, which recommended four candidates to be presented to the Board of Directors for consideration, the release stated. The remaining candidates were also evaluated by an outside company which performs comprehensive assessments for executive positions.

Fahs will begin his employment with the district as a consultant from Nov. 14 through Dec. 31 and will spend those six weeks shadowing Fritz and Assistant Chief Ben Wasser.

On Jan. 1, Fahs will become chief of the AFPD.

Fahs is a south county resident, has served in the past as president of the local firefighters’ union, Mehlville Local 1889, whose members now belong to Local 2665. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 33 years. They have two adult sons and one granddaughter.

Fahs is a graduate of Affton Senior High School and the St. Louis County Fire Academy. He has worked for the MFPD for 28 years, with the last 15 years as captain. Fahs was previously employed as a firefighter/paramedic with the Berkeley Fire Department, and also served as a paramedic with the Normandy Hospital Ambulance Service.

Fahs is eager to join the Affton Fire Protection District, he said in the release.

“I am proud as a firefighter and as an Affton High School alumnus to be given the honor of being selected as Affton Fire Protection District’s chief,” he said. “The Affton Fire Protection District has a long history of service, led by some of the finest chiefs in the region. The Affton community has always been supportive of its first responders. My goal as the new fire chief is to continue to lead a fine group of firefighters and paramedics who place community service above themselves.”

The Affton Fire Protection District protects 8.5 square miles with approximately 40,000 residents mostly in Affton, but also in an annexed area of Crestwood. The AFPD has three firehouses, one pumper truck, one ladder truck, two ambulances and a full-time staff of 36 employees.