UPLAND - The City's Fire Department is again operating without a fire chief.

Interim Fire Chief Dave Carrier's contract ends at the end of December, but city officials are waiting to hire a permanent chief until an agreement is reached with employee groups on concessions.

"We have a candidate, and we were kind of in a mode of if we get all labor to come to terms then the whole outsourcing issue will probably disappear," said City Manager Stephen Dunn.

All seven city employee groups have made offers that city officials are reviewing.

Police Chief Jeff Mendenhall will head the Fire Department in the meantime.

In November, the city asked the labor groups to pay their share of their pension to help free up money in the city budget.

The city is estimated to save about $1.3 million to their general fund budget if the groups agree to the concessions.

If an agreement cannot be reached with all groups on concessions, the Dunn will bring forward his recommendation on outsourcing to the City Council.

"I feel pretty confident that labor will come through," he said. "Timing-wise, if the outsourcing issue goes away, then we want to be in a position to bring in a chief right away."

Former Fire Chief Michael Antonucci retired in September 2011.

The city hired retired Ontario Fire Chief Dave Carrier in May to work through the end of this month.

Carrier retired from Ontario after 36 years in fire service, 31 of which were spent in Ontario.


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Since Carrier was officially retired, the amount of hours he could work for Upland were restricted.

Carrier said his time with Upland has been a rewarding journey.

"We've obviously dealt with some difficult economic decisions, but through working with good people, teamwork we can get anything done," he said. "That's the key component - is that we have a great team here not only in the fire department but in the city."


Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow.