City searching for new fire chief following Brunick’s retirement

After more than 40 years with the Vermillion Fire Department – almost 30 of them as chief – Doug Brunick has retired, and a search for his replacement is underway.

According to the department's official Web site, Brunick served since July 1971. His last day was June 15.

"It came up kind of quickly," said City Manager John Prescott. "He said he'd been thinking about it, and decided that he was going to go ahead and retire."

The city has already begun placing ads seeking a new fire chief, and has received "a couple of electronic applications," Prescott said.

Applications will be taken until the position is filled, he added, with the first review date set for July 16.

"We'll have an interview panel or two, and then make the appointment from there," Prescott said.

Until the new chief is hired, others are picking up the slack.

"It's kind of a team effort," Prescott said. "Lee Huber with our EMS department is in the building every day, so he's kind of doing some of the building items, things related to the facility. He's somewhat familiar with some of the reports that they do, so he's working with that aspect of it."

Assistant fire chiefs also are helping fulfill other duties, he said.

"There's not a sole individual who's in charge of all the responsibilities," he said.

Prescott said Brunick served the city well through his decades with the department.

"I've been working with Doug for the last seven years, and he was very good, thorough and conscientious with what he did," he said. "It didn't really matter what the hour was – if the fire department had an item, an issue or a call, he was generally involved with it.

"He was a guy that was, if you will, a fire chief 24/7," Prescott said.

Applications for the position of Vermillion Fire Chief are available online at

They may be dropped off at the Fire/EMS Station at 820 N. Dakota St.

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