Medford Fire Chief Dave Bierwiler is one of three finalists for a job heading the fire department in Loveland, Colo.

Medford Fire Chief Dave Bierwiler is one of three finalists for a job heading the fire department in Loveland, Colo.

The fast-growing northern Colorado town is roughly the same size as Medford and its fire department contracts to provide coverage to an extended rural area, too, just as Medford does, Bierwiler said. However, it's much closer to his 4-year-old grandson, who lives in Denver.

Bierwiler lived in Colorado for 17 years before moving to Medford two decades ago. Since his grandson's birth 41/2; years ago, Bierwiler and his wife have traveled to Denver every six weeks to visit and a move would make those visits much easier, he said.

After much thought, he applied in Loveland in September.

"My experience would transfer there," he said, noting that the department would bring some new professional challenges, too.

The department is catching up after rapid growth in the region and wants to be poised for the next boom. It also has a special operations and dive team, appealing to Bierwiler, who qualified as a scuba diver two years ago.

However, he's also proud of the Medford department, which he said has a good vision for the future, the support of the city manager and Council, a lot of energy and a collaborative leadership team with many well-qualified people.

"I love it here," he said. "If I don't get this one, I will stay here."

Interviews for all the Loveland finalists are set for early December, Bierwiler said. The chosen candidate will undergo a rigorous background check and likely be hired by the end of the year.