Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle has appointed Mike Baledge, the city’s deputy fire chief and fire marshal, to be the city’s next fire chief.

     Baledge was selected from among 20 candidates solicited from a nationwide search. He has 24 years of experience. He began his career as a volunteer firefighter and moved through the ranks from a paid-per-call volunteer to deputy chief, holding various leadership ranks and positions along the way, serving as an officer for 17 years.

     “Our best emergency response is with paid-per-call firefighters, because they bring with them all the expertise of their trades, as well as their emergency-response training,” Baledge said.

      In 2002, Baledge was hired by the Hailey Fire Department as a full-time staffer. In addition to his training and emergency-response duties, he took on the role of fire marshal, performing commercial-building-plan reviews and inspections.

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