Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol being sworn in during the Marysville Fire District Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)

Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol being sworn in during the Marysville Fire District Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)

Marysville names new fire chief after predecessor’s unexplained exit

Ned Vander Pol brings 27 years of fire experience. He succeeds former chief Martin McFalls, who retired last year.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Fire District named a new chief Wednesday following a months-long vacancy left by the previous chief’s unexplained departure last year.

The district’s Board of Directors chose Ned Vander Pol for the job following a “nationwide search,” a press release said. Vander Pol was sworn in at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Vander Pol brings 27 years of fire and emergency rescue experience to the district, having most recently served as fire chief for the Vista Fire Department in San Diego County, California, the release said. He began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1995.

“I look forward to working with the professional members of the Marysville Fire District as we provide exceptional service to the residents and visitors in our community,” Vander Pol said in a statement.

Vander Pol fills a vacancy left by previous chief Martin McFalls, who retired from the agency in June after being placed on administrative leave the month prior. Deputy Chief Darryl Neuhoff served as acting chief in the interim.

Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol (left) being sworn in during the Marysville Fire District Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)

Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol (left) being sworn in during the Marysville Fire District Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)

McFalls, who served 34 years with the Marysville Fire District and was named chief in 2015, stepped down June 30 as part of an agreement with the district board. He had been put on paid leave by the board in May, but the reason for this move was not disclosed.

Board members declined to comment on the exact reason for McFalls’s leave at the time, with board chair and Marysville City Council member Michael Stevens saying it was a “personnel matter.” McFalls told The Daily Herald in May he hadn’t been given a reason for the action either, but noted he had planned to retire at the end of 2022.

As part of his separation agreement, McFalls received a lump-sum payment of $198,674. That included six months’ salary, plus a payout of unused vacation and sick time.

On Thursday, a Marysville Fire District spokesperson again declined to comment on McFalls’s departure.

Riley Haun: 425-339-3192; riley.haun@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @RHaunID.

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