New: Mehlville fire board approves chief’s resignation

Tim White

Tim White

Staff Report

The Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors voted unanimously today to accept the resignation of Chief Tim White.

Board members voted during a closed session this afternoon to accept White’s resignation, according to Chairman Aaron Hilmer.

White was selected as former Chief Jim Silvernail’s successor in April 2009 when he was named to the newly created post of administrative chief fire officer. White, a firefighter/emergency medical technician who had been employed by the district since June 1985, was named captain in December 2008.

Upon Silvernail’s retirement in April 2010, White assumed the position of chief.

“The reality is, is we had a difference of opinion in the direction we wanted the district to go in the future,” Hilmer told the Call. “Tim White wanted to take it in one way. The board wasn’t comfortable with it. We wanted to go in a different direction.

“At that time, we decided to amicably part ways,” he continued. “He received a severance package that’s in line with other packages we have given for early retirements, et cetera. He’s going to receive nine months’ pay and benefits and a $15,000 education stipend.”

During today’s closed session, the board also voted unanimously to name Assistant Chief Brian Hendricks as interim chief.

Hendricks, who previously served as deputy chief training officer, was named assistant chief last year. In May, Hendricks assumed control of operations of the district.

Also during today’s closed session, the board voted 2-0 to name Deputy Chief Training Officer Dan LaFata as interim assistant chief. Hilmer was not present for the vote.

Regarding the board’s future plans for the chief’s position, Hilmer said, “Right now, we have made no decisions on it and certainly I can say there is no rush on it. There’s a tremendous administrative staff in place there and the district’s going to continue to run just fine. That’s an issue we’ll address down the road, what to do.”

Hilmer said White was leaving to pursue other professional opportunities and “we wish him well in his endeavors.”

Read more in next week’s Call about this story.