Four Months In: Monarch's New Fire Chief Brings Fresh Style

Tom Vineyard talks new attitude, transparency in a message to the Monarch community.

Dear Citizens:

I would like to start my first message to you, the community, with a note of gratitude for allowing me to serve you as Chief of the Monarch Fire Protection District. I officially took over the helm on January 2 and am very excited about providing a new direction for the future.

I have more than 23 years of experience in fire and EMS operations. I have the experience, qualifications and expertise to lead this fire protection district as it begins a new era in delivering fire protection and emergency medical services to all of our citizens.

I can assure you that my primary responsibility is to ensure that you, the citizens of the Monarch Fire Protection District, receive the highest level of fire and emergency response service available in the region in a fiscally-responsible manner. Monarch has a tradtion of highly-trained, well-qualified and professional firefighters-paramedics serving the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That will never change, although there are numerous positive changes unfolding at Monarch, with new leadership and a new attitude of accountability and responsibility.

My duties include running the day-to-day operations of the District and reporting back to the board and citizens on our progress as we move forward. I am working on analyzing operating costs, preparing budget proposals, managing district expenses, negotiating contracts, and analyzing the pension plan. We already have started developing and implementing policies and standard operating procedures necessary to ensure the safety of all district personnel as well as to protect the life and property of our citizens.

My duties include managing and monitoring work performance and providing effective management and direction while on the scene of incidents. I am committed to promoting a professional image at all times and we will be transparent to you, the community, in everything that we do. I am proud to lead the dedicated and talented men and women of Monarch, who train hard and work hard. They are well-prepared to respond to the call when the bell rings for them to do their jobs.

There is a strong need for long-range planning and I am working with the board, the personnel and the residents and business owners in the community to assess the needs of everyone. Moving forward, we need to develop a master plan for the District because as the comunity grows and prospers, we will need to keep pace with our community's ever-changing needs.

Understandably, most taxpapers are concerned about the budget. I can assure you that with our new leadership and attitude, we will be fiscally responsible. We must establish new procedures to ensure proper oversight of the District's finances and will be transparent in all transactions.

We have made significant cuts in operations and the Board of Directors has passed a balanced budget for fiscal year 2012. We are mindful about limiting spending and living within our means while still providing top-rated emergency services.

One of my biggest goals is to open the lines of communication between the chief, the rank-and-file, the board and our taxpayers. I have an open door and welcome constructive input from all parties so that we can meet and exceed our goals of making the Monarch Fire Protection District the best in the region.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns, questions or comments.

Thomas J. Vineyard, Chief
Monarch Fire Protection District 

Reach the fire department at www.monarchfpd.org and sign up for the online newsletter at fireprevention@monarchfpd.org and phone 314-514-0900.


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