Otter Point fire chief passes the torch

Otter Point fire chief passes the torch

John McCrea is the new chief

Otter Point Fire Department recently had a change in chiefs.

Kevan Brehart stepped down from the position for the last time after being in the role of chief three separate terms in his career: from 1978 to 1986, then in 1993 to 1997, and lastly from 2007 to July 31 this year.

Brehart said he wanted to step back from the position to spend more time at home with his wife.

“It is a lot of work, and I just thought it was time,” said Brehart, adding he will continue as a volunteer firefighter. “It was a ton of paperwork being chief, and I am excited to be back doing more of the operations side of firefighting.”

Brehart moved from Victoria in 1977, and became a volunteer firefighter in 1978. Three months later, he was chief.

“Firefighting wasn’t the same back then as it is now, that’s for sure. It is constantly changing, because fires are also different now than they were then,” said Brehart. “There is a lot more training, rules, regulations, and standards today, and a whole lot more administrative work.”

Brehart has been with the Otter Point Fire Hall for 40 years, and even wasn’t the chief for certain periods, he kept volunteering.

“I have been so fortunate with the team here. The firefighting community is truly a brotherhood,” said Brehart.

Brehart will now be passing the torch to the former assistant fire chief, John McCrea, who has been with the Otter Point Fire Department since 1995.

“John is one of the most passionate firefighters I have ever met. He is always doing research and finding ways to improve,” said Brehart, adding the position won’t be anything new for McCrea, because they often shared duties.

“We play to our strengths and help each other out, it’s not about who is boss.”

McCrea said he is looking forward to continuing forward on the strong foundation that has already been built at the department.

“Nothing is broken, so there is nothing to fix,” said McCrea. “The role will be a little bit different, a lot more paperwork, but it will be a smooth transition.”

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