On Tuesday morning, the the Civil Service Commission certified Scottsbluff’s Fire Chief eligible list, and staff says that the four applicants tested very well on June 1st.
Scottsbluff Fire Captains Justin Houstoun and Ryan Lohr, as well as Thomas Schingle of Cheyenne and Jeffrey Raffray of Monroe, Louisiana participated in written exams and interviews earlier this month.
“All four candidates interviewed quite well, they all bring different attributes to the table, I’m just pleased this process went very smooth,” says City Manager Nathan Johnson. “Speaking on behalf of the management team, we were impressed by how well prepared each individual candidate was in the process… it is a very good sign to see we have such quality applicants for such a high position within the fire department.”
Johnson says the top two candidates on the list tested within a quarter of a point of each other, and notes that it is the closest Civil Service Commission list they’ve had in some time. He says they’ve always used a decimal point system for testing, but this is the first time they’ve used it.
The rankings of applicants from the June 1st scoring- from highest to lowest- are as follows: Ryan Lohr, Thomas Schingle, Justin Houston, Jeffrey Raffray.
Johnson says the numbers are part of a system they use to look at aggregate scores, and those numbers will be for internal use only. Now, he’ll go back and look at resumes that were provided and look back at both the Civil Service panel and management interviews.
“We’ll look at the strengths and weaknesses of each (applicant), however I’m able to choose from that list that was certified this morning. It doesn’t have to be the top two candidates- it can be anybody on that list.”
Johnson says it’s going to be a difficult decision with such a strong field of candidates, but it’s a decision he hopes to have finalized in the coming weeks.
“We hope to have an offer out here sooner than later,” says Johnson. “I’m hoping we have a fire chief on board by the end of the month.”
Human Resources Director Jana Bode says the appointment is subject to the successful completion of a physical examination, psychological test, pre-employment drug screening, and background check.