Winfield Township retains fire chief, appoints assistant

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:11 am on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WINFIELD TOWNSHIP — Amble Fire Chief Bill Knapp is moving out of Winfield Township and offered to resign his post.

But the Winfield Township Board voted 3-0 earlier this month to retain Knapp as head of the fire department.

Supervisor Phyllis Larson, Treasurer Cathy Killinger and Trustee Dan Kanouse cast the votes. Clerk Colleen Stebbins was absent and Trustee Jim Radford recently resigned from the board.
Knapp is relocating to Belvidere Township.

“It’s actually not a real big deal, because my officers are very reliable,” he said. “My job is still going to be based out of the township, but I had the opportunity for a house somewhere else.”

Knapp has been fire chief about three years and has served on the fire department since 1988.

The Winfield Township Board also voted 3-0 to appoint Gregg Schuitema as assistant fire chief, per Knapp’s recommendation.

Schuitema previously served as fire chief for more than five years before resigning to unsuccessfully campaign for a seat on the Winfield Township Board in 2008.

“He is respected by a lot of the guys on the department,” said Knapp of Schuitema. “He’s my go-to man when I have an issue. When I can’t be there, he’s more than happy to fill my shoes.”

Schuitema could not be reached for comment.

The Amble Fire Department currently has about a dozen volunteer firefighters.

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