New Fire District 21 chief will wear two hats

ARLINGTON — Snohomish County Fire District 21, serving the rural Arlington area, has changed fire chiefs.

The district’s board of commissioners in late 2013 decided not to renew former chief Rick Isler’s contract.

They’ve hired Travis Hots as the new fire chief. Hots, 37, also serves as chief for Fire District 22 in the Getchell area.

“He brings a tremendous skill set, that’s for sure,” said Eric Nordstrom, a fire commissioner and volunteer firefighter with District 21.

Hots is “one of the most qualified and ambitious chiefs around,” Nordstrom said.

Through a contract, the two fire districts are splitting the cost of Hots’ salary and benefits. As Getchell chief, he was paid about $110,000 a year. His salary has not changed.

Isler was notified in writing of the decision Nov. 14, according to documents obtained by The Herald through a public records request. The vote was unanimous among the three commissioners.

“We waited until our previous chief’s contract was up, and we just felt that, as a board, it was the right time for us to move into a new era of leadership,” Nordstrom said in an interview. “We really appreciated Chief Isler’s years of steadfast dedication, and he was a great chief for us over the past several years.”

Isler’s last day was Dec. 31. He served the fire district for more than 30 years. He started as a volunteer firefighter and became assistant chief, and then fire chief for about four years, documents show.

The commissioners also signed a letter dated Dec. 27 saying that Isler helped the fire district grow, and that he was well-respected as chief. There was no legal separation agreement, according to the district.

Fire District 21 serves about 8,200 people over 70 square miles surrounding Arlington city limits. The 2014 budget is about $1 million.

The district has roughly 30 volunteer firefighters. They work closely with the Arlington Fire Department.

The district in years past was called “Arlington Heights” by its neighbors. A couple of years ago, it was rebranded as “Arlington Rural” to better describe the area it serves.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

In Uniform

A collection of news and events about and for active duty military and veterans.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Soroptimists honor Navy Junior ROTC commander

Soroptimist International of Everett recently recognized Everett High School Navy Junior ROTC… Continue reading

For happy, nervous teens, it was a big day to be in the band

Nearly 2,000 students from 17 schools gather in Everett for the Puget Sound Festival of bands

Most Read