The Merrill Common Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to ratify the selection of David Savone as the new chief of the Merrill Fire Department. Savone is expected to start in Merrill in late November. He will take over from current chief Bob Odegard, who will retire effective Dec. 31 after 33 years with the Merrill Fire Department.
Savone, of Fox River, IL, served as an officer with the Hoffman Estates (IL) Fire Department before taking early retirement. He had served on that fire department for 28 years. The village of Hoffman Estates is a Chicago suburb with a population of over 53,000. Savone also serves as a firefighting instructor with a college in Illinois.
The city received nine applications for the chief’s post. Applicants were from Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. The Police and Fire Commission interviewed four applicants, before settling on Savone.
City Administrator David Johnson said Savone was selected in part because of his background as a firefighting instructor and paramedic, and because he had stayed with the same fire department for many years.
“Everybody had a really good feeling about him,” Johnson said.
Savone’s starting salary with the city will be about $74,000 a year.