Andrew Slama appointed Savage Fire Chief
On October 21, 2019, Andrew Slama was officially appointed as the new Savage Fire Chief. It’s familiar territory to him after serving as interim Fire Chief both after Chief Joel McColl retired in March, 2019 and then again after the resignation of Andrain Roach in August. Slama has been an integral part of Savage Fire for over 11 years, starting as a paid-on-call firefighter in 2008 and then being appointed Deputy Chief in 2018. Now, Slama is ready to bring a different mindset and his own leadership model to the department.
Slama started his firefighting career with the Mankato Fire Department, and then continued on as a Firefighter/Paramedic with both Mdewakanton Emergency Services and the Edina Fire Department. He is committed to the long standing fire traditions but sees the need to adapt to the new generation. ”I want our firefighters to be proud of the department and inspired to do their best. One of the challenges we face is the increasing demand of training and fire calls,” he stated. “I get it – I’m a dad to two young children, my wife Hillary owns and operates a successful business which means our schedule is anything but normal. I understand how busy life is and how difficult it can be to commit so much time away from your family. My vision is to build a sustainable department that meets the community’s needs in a way that provides options and balance. We want Savage Fire to be an important part of our firefighter’s lives, but not take over their life.”
Community outreach and visibility is another area Slama intends to focus on. He grew up in a small rural town in southern Minnesota where he learned to appreciate small town values and a strong sense of community. “I am very community oriented, and I hope that I can be a role model for the firefighters and encourage them to get to know the residents, and have the residents, get to know them. I think this will help us recruit new firefighters and enhance our visibility in the community,” said Slama. So say hi and introduce yourself when you see him around in the community.