Boise & Garden City

Boise fire chief was offered a job in Bend, Oregon. Here’s why he turned it down

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan talks about the Boise Foothills Fire

Chief Dennis Doan talks about the Boise Fire Department's response to Thursday's Foothills wildfire.
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Chief Dennis Doan talks about the Boise Fire Department's response to Thursday's Foothills wildfire.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan was offered a job as fire chief in Bend, Oregon, but he said he turned it down because visiting Bend affirmed to him “just how great Boise is.”

A list of applicants and finalists obtained by the Idaho Statesman found that Doan was one of 23 applicants for the job before being named one of four finalists.

Doan told the Statesman on Friday that he got a call from a recruiter friend in March or April. That friend told him it would be a good fit, so Doan went to Bend and met with the city manager and union leaders.

After that meeting, he said they called him and asked him to apply. He did, and he went “a few weeks ago” for the interview process.

He said he ultimately decided to stay in Boise, because when he completed the process, he realized his love for the city “more than ever.”

Doan was making $154,523 annually as his base wage. Adam Park, director of community engagement for the city, said Doan’s new salary is $165,006.

According to employee-pay records obtained by the Statesman, Doan is the fifth-highest paid nontemporary employee in city government. The raise makes him the second-highest, behind only Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

The offer for a new job “demonstrates how sought after Chief Doan is by the national fire community and how lucky we are to have him here in Boise,” Park said in a statement to the Statesman. “The raise he received provides equity with other similar department heads within the city and is a small price to pay to maintain Boise’s high level of fire safety.”

“We have a great mayor, great city, great team,” Doan said. “This is my home. Even Bend isn’t better, and it’s pretty awesome.”

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.