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Fired up to lead: Elvestad named Farmington fire chief

Farmington Fire Chief Justin Elvestad said he looks forward to leading the department and meeting with community members. His interim status will change to permanent Jan. 29. Kara Hildreth / contributor

The new Farmington Fire Chief Justin Elvestad took the oath to serve and protect Tuesday — something he's already done for nearly half of his life but will do now as the department's recognized leader.

"Early on in my career, I wanted to be full time for the city because I have always been passionate about Farmington and the community," Elvestad said in an interview.

"It is exciting; I have been working for the fire service since I was 20 years old."

The hiring was confirmed Tuesday, Jan. 9, by Farmington City Council. Administrator David McKnight administered the oath.

Elvestad, 36, has spent 14 years working with Farmington Fire and Rescue Department, most recently serving as interim fire chief and assistant fire chief from 2015 to present. Elvestad was a lieutenant 2007-09 and a fire captain 2009-15.

Elvestad will officially begin his full-time job duties Jan. 29 with an annual starting salary of $92,428, a step 2 in the salary range of $90,173 to $112,717.

As a Farmington native, Elvestad said he is ready to lead the department's 46 firefighters, many of whom he was worked alongside for years.

"I want to sit down and spend a good amount of time with the paid, on-call members whom I already know each one well, but we can talk about what they expect of me, the expectation of the department and the city and see if there are any ways we can be more accommodating toward them and help them while seeing what their needs are," Elvestad said.

Looking forward to tackling the challenges, Elvestad said he will look at how to best recruit firefighters and how to best address fire marshal duties, since the department no longer has one.

"I am just looking forward to working with city hall and working with mutual aid and a great group of firefighters and I am excited to be a leader of the department," he said.