Harvard Fire Protection District Chief Steve Harter submitted his resignation as chief effective immediately Wednesday, according to a news release from the district.
Harter – who has been chief of the district for the past 15 years – said his departure was because of “personal reasons,” but wrote in his resignation letter that he would be honored to continue to serve as a firefighter and EMT, which the board allowed.
At a previous board meeting, Harter – referring to the constantly evolving fire and EMS standards a fire chief must keep up with – said that it is very hard for a person working 50 hours to 60 hours a week to return to school.
Harter would have to spend hundreds of hours in the classroom annually to keep up with current fire service personnel standards, according to a news release from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
Battalion Chief Bryan Pierce will assume the duties of acting fire chief while the board is weighing options for a replacement, according to the release.
“We will select a replacement Chief through a competitive testing process conducted by a nonpartisan testing agency,” Board President Roger Hugg said in the release. “We hope that Battalion Chief Pierce and any other qualified individuals from within the department will apply.”
A special board meeting is scheduled for Monday, where an acting fire chief will be formally appointed.
The special board meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. at the Harvard Fire Protection District’s station, 502 S. Eastman St.