Just in time for this year’s Fire Prevention Week education and celebration, the City of Battle Creek is pleased to announce Bill Beaty as our next fire chief.
Chief Beaty will officially join the team starting Monday, Oct. 17.
“I look forward to becoming an active member of the wonderful Battle Creek community,” Beaty said. “The Battle Creek Fire Department has an exemplary team of dedicated professionals, and I am excited to become part of that.
“The future of the fire department, and our service to the community, has great promise, and I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to lead those efforts into the future.”
Beaty was one of two finalists for the position, and both gave presentations to and answered questions from the community on Aug. 24. You can see the recording of that event here, on the city’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/R3KQ5tVau7s.
We appreciated receiving over 100 of the community feedback forms after that event; a majority of those favored Chief Beaty. Comments included Beaty’s wealth of experience, his personality and communication style, his focus on firefighters, and his comments on diversity.
The city’s interview panel, which included city Battalion Chief Matt Beauchamp, and city Firefighter and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF, union) Local 335 President Jayeson Tkac, were impressed by the connections Beaty made with the community and firefighters during his August visit.
“Chief Beaty has years of military, firefighter, labor union, and other experience that will serve him well in the City of Battle Creek,” said Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing. “We believe his strong views on recruitment and diversity will make a great, positive impact on the Battle Creek Fire Department, and we look forward to his service here.”
Beaty most recently served as the Deputy Chief for the all-volunteer Divernon, Ill. Fire Protection District. His previous experience includes Fire Chief in Garden City, Kansas and Fire Services Coordinator (Chief) for Finney County, Kansas from 2019-2021; Driver-Engineer and Captain in Springfield, Ill. from 1996-2019; and Captain and Training Officer in Divernon from 1987-1997.
He was Divernon Firefighter of the Year and Veterans of Foreign Wars Springfield Firefighter of the Year; and served on the IAFF Local 37 Executive Board. He served Lincoln Land Community College as the Fire Science Technology program coordinator, Emergency Medical Services program coordinator, and adjunct instructor. He served in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces from 1989-2008, serving multiple deployments and receiving numerous decorations and awards. He has served as a scholastic middle school and high school sports official since 1987.
Chief Beaty follows previous chief Brian Sturdivant, who left the city in April to take the fire chief position in Lansing.