MORRIS - Dave Dybdal was officially sworn in as the 11th Fire Chief for the Morris Fire Department on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Morris City Council meeting.
Dybdal is a 17 year veteran of the department who previously served as assistant chief. When recognizing Dybdal and presenting him with a new badge, Mayor Sheldon Giese said it was one of the most important things he had been involved in during his 11 years on the city council.
"I want to thank the Morris Fire Department for electing me as their next chief," said Dybdal. "It's some pretty big boots to fill, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. We've got a great group of guys."
Doug Storck, who served as chief for 11 years and assistant chief for nine years, was also recognized and formally thanked by city council members in Tuesday when they accepted his resignation.
"Doug has done one heck of a job," said council member Jeff Miller. "I served 20+ years with him. I think we've been blessed."
Storck's father, council member Bill Storck, praised his son's work
"Of course, I taught him about everything he knows," Bill joked.
The council also presented Storck with a plaque thanking him for his years of service. The plaque was inscribed with the following thank you: "There is no greater responsibility in a community than to protect the citizens from harm. As a leader in the fire department, first as nine years as assistant chief and 11 years as fire chief, you took care of us. Day or night, and in any kind of weather, you answered the call. You had a great responsibility and had to make tough decisions, but you did your job very well. Thank you again for your outstanding service."
Although Storck was short in his comments at the meeting, he explained his planned resignation more fully in a letter to the council.
" A person sometimes just knows when it is time to make a change," he wrote. "I want to thank all of you for your years of support and believing in me and our department. From a little boy growing up in Morris watching my father as a firefighter to eventually being a member myself, [this] has been one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me."
Storck said he planned to continue to serve the department "as a firefighter, truck driver, mentor, advisor or janitor - wherever the new chief needs me until I tire out some day."
This month, the Morris Fire Department also named the following officers for 2013:
First Assistant Fire Chief: Pat Daly
Second Assistant Fire Chief: Joe Udelhofen
Rescue Captain: Matt Solemsaas
Ladder Captain: Fred Moser
Truck Captain: Pete Hentges
Training Officer: John Lembcke
Treasurer: Cory Marquart
Building Maintenance Officer: Jeremiah Day
Truck Maintenance Officer: Dwain Schmidt
Fire Department Chaplain: Joe Udelhofen