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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news November 26, 2015

10/11/2013 1:58:00 PM
City of Prescott names Eric Kriwer as interim fire chief
Eric Kriwer
Eric Kriwer
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

The City of Prescott has named Division Chief Eric Kriwer acting fire chief, effective immediately, to replace Dan Fraijo, who leaves in November.

Kriwer will be acting chief until a new, permanent chief is in place.

Prescott City Manager Craig McConnell said, "The Prescott Fire Department has many talented firefighters, captains, engineers, battalion chiefs, and division chiefs who have always, and will continue, to step up during times of change. Eric's leadership and professional background will be invaluable during this critical transition period. "

Kriwer played a pivotal role in the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill fire, providing direction during the memorial and planning for the funeral services of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

"My primary objective is to bring stability to the Prescott Fire Department during this transition and make sure we continue our mission of providing excellence in service to the citizens of Prescott," said Kriwer.

Kriwer has been with the PFD for seven years. During his 25-year career, he's worked as firefighter, paramedic, battalion chief, fire marshal and assistant chief in Arizona communities as diverse as Fountain Hills, East Mesa, Mayer and Scottsdale.

On Friday morning, McConnell said Prescott Fire Department Fire Chief Dan Fraijo remains fire chief until the job becomes officially vacant on Friday, Nov. 15.

"He is on the city payroll and that is his title," McConnell said.

Kriwer, city spokesman Pete Wertheim said, will be the chief when Fraijo is unavailable until Fraijo leaves the position.

Fraijo, who said he is not leaving the job voluntarily, had a 30-day notice agreement with the city if it chose to terminate his employment. It did, he said.

With his departure assured, Fraijo has become publicly critical of the city in general and McConnell in particular.

"You've got a memorial (to the Granite Mountain Hotshots) that's going to be coming on the 30th of June (2014), and there's only about eight months to prepare for it," he said. "That's going to be enormous, and that's during this budget year.

"Don't put it back on the fire department like you did this entire memorial in the first place," he continued. "We had no support from the city manager."

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: @ @@Find Another Job

2 ambulances and 4 fire trucks for a skinned knee? What was the date and time of that one? Quit spewing the uneducated babble and lies, it does not make you appear to be very intelligent.
Next time an intersection is closed for the investigation of a fatality accident, the authorities should really consider your personal feelings, thoughts and impatience instead of doing their jobs.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: @@Find Another Job

When i see an intersection closed for 3 hours on a fender-bender, it just amazes me. Then you add the political side and soon one realizes that the more calls a Fire Dept. responds to, the more they can whine about more money and more people. If the Fire Dept. only responded to calls that were necessary there would not be such a demand for them. It does not take 2 ambulances and 4 fire trucks to bandage the knee of the boy that fell off his bike. It is money we are talking about. If my Dept. responds to 200 calls a month i am needed and need more people and more money. It borders the insane, people get hired as FF's because of their kin, not knowledge. Most FF's i know all work side jobs because most of them are on the gravey train, and they know it. A hook and ladder truck for a skinned knee is insane.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ Find Another Job

Gee, another fire department hater spewing uneducated information on a courier blog, go figure.
There is A LOT to the reason that fire departments respond to medical calls, not just here but Nationwide. Closer stations/shorter response times, much better and thorough care for advanced life support emergencies and the ability to meet established EMS care standards are just a few.
When you are having a heart attack, would you rather a crew of 5 (ambulance and fire) be handling your emergency or have 1 medic working on you by himself in the back of the ambulance. Effective treatment CANNOT be done with a 2 person crew, period.
Oh, by the way, the 1 available ambulance in the entire tri-city area is responding from 30 mins away because the ambulance company chose to prioritize out of town transfers that day instead because that's where the money is.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Find Another job

This is not the time to be demanding raises and benefits. It is the time for cutbacks!

Let's pay firefighters to be firefighters. Stop the ambulance chasing and yard man work. Those two items should be out of the scope of employment for firefighters.

Fire equipment, on the taxpayers dime, should not be activated to rescue the overdoses and medical issues that happens in Prescott.

Prescott has a private ambulance service to fulfil emergency medical issues.

This country is near bankrupct in case you haven't noticed. You may not have a job in 2014, best stop with the whining and complaining. Don't like your working conditions, find another job.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Me Too

Congratulations Eric!!

As to other comments, what City employee would speak out and risk their job? The voters seem to like the status quo as we still have the same mayor and incumbent council members who ran....

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Kaufman

While I agree McConnell should go, let's focus on Eric. He would be a great asset to any fire department. When he was with Mayer Fire, he was my 1st choice for the Chief's position, looking back I am sorry he got away. So let's support him, the personnel of Prescott Fire, and all the family members of the Yarnell Disaster.
Bob Kaufman
(Former member of the Mayer Fire Board)

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Clement R

Fraijo came from out of town, now I discover that this guy has been with the department for only seven years. What's obviously happening is that these guys are "retiring out" of their previous jobs, collecting pensions, and double dipping up here. I can't even begin to comprehend why this community can't "grow their own" chiefs or US Congressmen for that matter.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Will Rogers

It's curious that the Courier has not written a single editorial on the subject of the unexplained and controversial firing of Chief Fraijo, nor have Courier reporters interviewed City Manager McConnell about his decision to fire the Chief. Is the Courier deliberately taking a "hands off" approach on this? If so, the readers of the newspaper are not being well served by the paper's timidity.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Gray Panther

Keep digging people. You have to identify the rats before you begin fumigation.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: justa gal in PV

Ok , an acting chief....till an new one is appointed....sound familiar ?
oh boy how long will this one last...
till he has a independant thought ?
well all I have to say is , were probably cut from the herd,
now they will make you feel special,
then watch out......
no independent thinking allowed....
your fate will be the same....
good luck
COP city mgr is a joke.....
and so are his bosses.....

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: SPEAK OUT

Now that is funny . Just ask the shadow about speaking out . Intimidation would stand out for starters . Prescott high ranking cops acting as mail carriers will deliver city paperwork just to see if they can antagonize one into a poor decision . Guess what it works -- Not a fan of COP retaliation . Yes the shadow spoke out but it does not do much good . LOL THE SHADOW

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

Best thoughts Eric.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Kathrin Bidderman

McConnell has to go. He is arrogant, doesn't know what real communication is and can't handle critics. He has the wrong job.
Whatever you will do next Chief Fraijo, the people of Prescott will miss you. You did a great job.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Out with This council

There is strength in numbers...cop employees just need to step up and do the right thing. If everyone stays hush hush then you can expect the hotshots to be dismantled by the city...which would be a slap in the face to our fallen 19. I hope this new chief will honor them and not suck up to the cop leaders. A recall would be nice.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Good for Fraijo

I assume Kriwer is a 'yes man'. Might be more to this story than meets the eye, but I still think McConnell needs to be reined in. I'm sure going to vote differently in the next council elections as well. Sure we could learn a lot more if city employees weren't afraid to speak out.

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