Conyn top candidate for NW Iowa job

Webster City Fire Chief John Conyn is the leading candidate for a position with the Spencer Fire Department, pending Spencer City Council approval tonight.

According to The Spencer Daily Reporter, Conyn is expected to be hired to replace current Spencer Fire Department Chief Doug Duncan.

Webster City Mayor John Hawkins said that Conyn has been good fit for Webster City.

“I think he has been a lovely addition to Webster City,” said Hawkins. “He has been a mover and a shaker for the town. It’s a shame we’re losing him to Spencer. He’ll be sadly missed.”

“This is a good opportunity for John,” said Webster City Assistant Manager Kent Harfst. “We wish him all the best in Spencer. Spencer is a nice community.”

Harfst noted Conyn’s push for all Webster City firefighters to succeed and do their best.

“He had a lot of high energy,” said Harfst. “Training is the big thing he pushed for. It was constant training and improvement for both full-time and part-time firefighters.”

According to The Spencer Daily Reporter “Conyn began his career with the Great Lakes Fire Department in North Chicago, Illinois. During his career he has served in several training and instructing roles both inside the EMS and for Gateway Technical College on campuses in both Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin.”

Conyn has been Webster City’s fire chief since 2014. In 2015, he became a spokesperson and trainer for the Iowa Pipeline Association.

Hawkins said a possible plan of action depending on City Council approval, would be for the city of Webster City to advertise in publications that reach fire departments across the Midwest and United States in the search for a new fire chief.

“It will be up to the council,” said Hawkins.

Conyn declined to comment on the position prior to the Spencer City Council meeting tonight.

According to The Spencer Daily Reporter four other candidates were finalists for the position: Jay Bohan, current building safety instructor for the city of Rochester, Minnesota; Blake Deiber, Denison Assistant Fire Chief; Chuck Stansfield, Derby Fire Department Fire Lieutenant in Derby, Kansas; and Mark Stover, wildland firefighter type 2 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Milford. Stover also previously served on the Spencer Fire Department from 2001-2008 at which point he was promoted to deputy fire chief.