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Medford announces new interim fire chief

Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke has been appointed interim fire chief for Medford Fire-Rescue, the city of Medford announced this evening.

Hoke replaces Acting Fire Chief Gordon Sletmoe, who will return to his position of deputy chief in charge of the Administration Division.

City Manager Eric Swanson said in a release that Hoke will remain the interim fire chief "until such time as decisions are made on how to proceed in regards to future management and oversight of the Fire Department."

The city has been in talks with Jackson County Fire District No. 3 over a possible consolidation of services.

Hoke has served as interim director during other department transitions, including city manager pro tem, interim planning director and interim human resources director.

"There are many projects and activities coming forward in the Fire Department that will need additional focus and attention, such as the Cooperative Services Agreement Study, fire station capital improvement projects, and the University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Initiative," Swanson said in the release. "The addition of Mr. Hoke as the Interim Fire Chief will provide additional time for personnel to concentrate on these projects in addition to daily administration duties."