Bascom Joint Fire District under new leadership

BASCOM — Bascom Joint Fire District is under new leadership.

Mark DeVault, who had been the chief for about three years, stepped back to serve as a firefighter, and Chris Daniel, who most recently was the assistant chief, was sworn in as the new chief Saturday.

Daniel, who had been appointed the assistant chief about three years ago, said it is a new step and new journey.

He said being the chief is a humbling experience and something he never thought he’d pursue originally. He said he thinks sometimes, God deals a person a hand and those positions come for the person.

His goals include “to continue to build leadership within the department” and “to allow the department to further transition into the 21st century.”

The fire service is rich in tradition and also must evolve, he said.

Daniel said he works with an excellent fire board, excellent community and excellent fire officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Daniel’s father was a firefighter, and Daniel always was at the fire station with him. Daniel started as a firefighter in 1993 and also served as a lieutenant.

He said he enjoys the ability to know one has a place in the community to help others. There are many people who make up a community, he said.

DeVault has become the fourth former chief to continue serving with Bascom Joint Fire District.

Others include Joe Brandt, Harry Miller and Merle Reinhart.

DeVault had been the chief for about three years and also had served as the assistant chief, lieutenant and firefighter.

“(Brandt) got me into it,” he said.

DeVault is returning to the rank of firefighter and said he doesn’t think he will be as active as he used to be. He said things changed at work, and he doesn’t have the same work schedule.

The new Bascom Joint Fire District station was built during his time as the chief, and DeVault recalled getting out of the way.

“Chris knew what he was doing,” he said.