On Casper's Facebook page, city Manager Carter Napier announced the appointment of Jacob Black as Casper’s interim fire chief.

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Black is a 21-year veteran of Casper’s Fire-EMS Department and most recently served as battalion chief of A platoon, which consists of five captains, seven engineers, and 10 firefighters, before being assigned interim fire chief, where he will oversee the department's 73 full-time employees.

Napier said he's not sure if Black has chosen someone to act as interim A platoon battalion chief while Black act's as fire chief.

The appointment comes after the retirement of Chief Thomas Solberg on May 6, 2022, which Solberg announced on Jan. 14 after working as Casper's fire chief since April 30, 2018.

According to the Facebook post, Napier said to people in the fire department that he has confidence in Black’s ability to lead the department while they continue the process of finding a new chief.

Napier said there are several qualities they are looking for in a new fire chief, such as being a strong leader and someone who knows the fire business well.

"Certainly we need a strong leader, as you might imagine, we need someone who can engage the community with respect to the department and its needs if you will," Napier said. "We need the type of leader who will not only advocate on the part of the department but also be a vital member of the city organization as well. And of course, one who knows the business really well and can be a good solid resource to our department with respect to knowledge of the industry and help the department become better and better."

Black said Monday "I am honored to be selected as the interim fire chief for Casper’s Fire-EMS Department and am excited to be a part of this transition."

Napier, who is responsible for choosing the next fire chief, expects to hire someone within 90 days or "certainly by the end of July I'd like to have it all done," and stated he was "encouraged by the quality of our applicants, not the least of which are some very promising internal candidates."

Of the 27 applications they received, Napier said three were from internal candidates, while the majority of candidates are from people not from Wyoming.

The application period ended on May 1, with the salary ranging from $106,565 to $149,191, according to the now-deleted job entry on the city's website.

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