City of Dubuque appoints new fire chief

Scheller will serve as the city’s first female fire chief
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Dubuque city council members have appointed Amy Scheller as the city’s first female fire chief.

Scheller currently serves as the deputy fire chief in Naperville, Illinois, and has 30 years of firefighter and paramedic experience. During her time in the department, she has supervised and managed all areas of the fire department operations and administrative divisions. However, she told TV9 she is ready for a new experience.

“It was a pretty extensive process and I loved every bit of it,” Scheller said regarding the interview process for the Dubuque fire chief position. “I had an opportunity to meet the community, meet members of the organization, meet members of the city and it was kind of a two-way conversation. We wanted to get to know each other to see if this would be a good fit and every time I talked to the next group it just became clearer and clearer to me.”

Scheller said community involvement will be one of her priorities when she officially takes over on June 6.

“I want to bring an opportunity for people to have their thoughts and ideas heard,” she explained. “I know that I have learned a lot of things along the way, but it is not everything, so I want to learn from them as well and I want an opportunity to apply a lot of the things I have learned over the course of my career.”

The newly appointed fire chief said she also plans to tackle workforce shortages within the Dubuque Fire Department. The department had previously reported a substantial rise in calls and a decrease in the number of workers in the department. Scheller said she wants to broaden the idea people have of those who work in public safety in an effort to attract more people to the profession.

“We need difference, we need diversity, we need people that think differently, that can respond differently,” she added. “Our community is made up of different demographics.”

Scheller will succeed fire chief Rick Steines, who retired last March after serving the Dubuque Fire Department for 37 years.

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