After much deliberation and multiple applications for the job —†including a pitch by the Oakdale City Fire Department for administrative services — the Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District, ORFD, has hired retired Cal Fire employee, Lee Winton for the job of rural fire chief.
Winton is expected to assume duties Sept. 1.
ORFD Board Director Sherry Schlegel said of the decision, “Although the City (Oakdale City Fire) came with a wonderful proposal, we decided we needed someone there all the time who was going to work every day at the station. We feel we made the best decision for the situation.”
Although they didn’t end up with City Fire as their administrative head, the rural district is still very much open to a possible or future joint venture with the city, Schlegel said.
“The city was a serious contender. We were impressed and we put a lot of thought into it,” she said.
Of Winton, Schlegel added, “We’re really excited. Lee has been an instructor for the fire academy and he’s the best fit at this particular time.”
Despite multiple calls made by The Leader, Winton was not available for comment.