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McCloud has new fire chief, new department volunteers

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
McCloud's new Fire Department Chief Charlie Miller stands in front of the mostly new volunteer firefighters  he recruited in hopes of making the department more self-sufficient and prepared to serve the McCloud community.

Recently appointed McCloud Fire Chief Charlie Miller, a full time McCloud resident, has over the past two weeks recruited 10 volunteer firefighters, doubling the fire department’s staff.  

Miller, a long-time firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician, has been a college instructor for basic and advanced fire and rescue for years. He came out of semi-retirement to give his all to the McCloud community. His wife, Cindy, has also joined the volunteer department to improve McCloud’s emergency services.  

Miller formulated a strategic plan for his first six months. He started by offering an EMT course at the fire hall through College of the Siskiyous. He aims to recruit more volunteers and involve the community, but his priority is to get McCloud’s ambulance back online for advance and basic life support.

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In his short-term plan, Miller is reviewing all the administrative processes and the budget and familiarizing himself with the standard operational procedures for the department. He said he wants everyone to be on the same page. 

Miller is reorganizing the fire station with the help of the volunteers and community members. He is also working with the McCloud Community Services District’s general manager and the board of directors to have unity, both throughout the fire department team and with community leaders to support the town of McCloud, which is predominately senior citizens.  

Miller has some mottos that he’d like the fire department to adhere to. One motto that he says often is, “There’s a job for everyone.” 

Not only does he want a full staff of firefighters but also community volunteers that want to help support the fire department in non-firefighting work. 

From office work, to helping maintain the fire hall and the grounds or washing the engines, Miller said there’s plenty of work that can be done around the fire house. He said he wants to create a symbiotic relationship with the community.

Miller’s other motto is, “Honor the history and forget the past.” 

“We honor all the past fire chiefs and volunteers for the work they have done building the department up to what it has become today,” said Miller. “The MCSD board for all their work and dedication to assure that the fire department has the support they need. And the fire association, its volunteers, and the volunteer firefighters and EMS who tirelessly served this community in its time of need.” 

Miller said he feels lucky be able to work as a team to “build a fire department that McCloud can be proud of.”

“We will be downtown with our fire engines this Labor Day weekend for our ‘Fill the Boot’ donation drive and community exposure so people can meet and talk with us,” said Cindy Miller. 

For more information about the EMT course being offered in McCloud, go to:  https://www.facebook.com/College-of-the-Siskiyous-Emergency-Medical-Services-Program