Top 3 candidates for fire marshal/deputy chief named

The city of Brainerd Police and Fire Civil Service Commission Tuesday certified the top three candidates for the Brainerd Fire Department's fire marshal/deputy chief position.

There will be a little more than $300,000 in the department's capital outlay fund at the end of the year, Hillman said, which doesn't cover the $1.2 million cost of a new ladder fire truck, which Holmes predicts the department will need to buy in 2018 The oldest truck in the department's garage, the 1984 ladder truck will be 34 years old in 2018. Illustration.

The city of Brainerd Police and Fire Civil Service Commission Tuesday certified the top three candidates for the Brainerd Fire Department's fire marshal/deputy chief position.

Now, the three finalists will be presented to the mayor and city council at the Jan. 4 meeting for hiring consideration. At that meeting, Fire Chief Tim Holmes will give his recommendation on who to hire.

The three finalists, in order of highest score, are David Cox, Christopher Nelson and Jason Mickelson. Human resource coordinator Kris Schubert said the city hopes the selected candidate can start by Jan. 25.

Schubert said 17 people applied for the position and nine were asked to come in for interviews, which took place on Dec. 21. Of those, seven attended the interviews and two did not. Schubert presented the weighted scores and ranks of the seven interviewees to the commission:

• David Cox, 83.58


• Christopher Nelson, 74.42

• Jason Mickelson, 67.18

• Kevin Tengwall, 66.44

• Daryl Rubbelke, 61.66

• Mark Turner, 60.92

• Thomas Nelson, 58.7

Seniority points were given to candidates who are also paid on-call members of the department. The scores of three paid on-call members, Tengwall, Rubbelke and Cox, included an additional four points for having 10 or more years of service in the department.

Of the 17 candidates, 14 were from Minnesota, Schubert said, with one candidate each from Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa.


According to the resume he submitted, Cox, of Brainerd, has been a member of the Brainerd Fire Department since January of 1998 and is currently a battalion chief. He was a patrol officer with the Lakeshore Police Department from June of 2006 to April of 2013 and a patrol officer with the Mille Lacs Tribal Police from April of 2013 to present.

Cox is a Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University graduate. He holds a criminal justice certificate from Central Lakes College and a law enforcement skills certificate from Hibbing Community College. He is also the 2002 Brainerd Firefighter of the Year.

According to the resume he submitted, Nelson, of East Bethel, is presently the fire marshal for Williams County in North Dakota. From 2001-2013 he was district chief working at the rank of fire captain/safety officer for the Metropolitan Airport Commission. From 1997-2004 he was assistant chief fire officer in the East Bethel Fire Department.

He is a graduate of Bemidji State University and completed coursework for a fire science degree from Hennepin Technical College.

According to the resume he submitted, Mickelson, of Dayton, is presently the fire chief of the Dayton Fire Department, a position he has held since October of 2011. He's been a paid on-call member of the department since October of 2002.

Mickelson is currently a live burn instructor with F.I.R.E. Inc. of Crosslake, a position he has held since October of 2006. He is also an on-call fire investigator for the Hennepin County Fire Investigation Team, a position he has held since May of 2008.

Each candidate listed multiple emergency response certifications and trainings on their resume.



SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or . Follow on Twitter at .

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