For five years, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Gentosi has been serving the residents of Johnston and Grimes. In total, Gentosi has been a member of the department for 14 years, which consisted of service as a paid-on-call firefighter or part-time firefighter for Grimes Fire and Rescue. In July 2016, the department’s consolidated and now serve both communities and are known as the Johnston Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department (JGMFD).
“I believe the biggest accomplishment and experience I have gained is the consolidation,” said Deputy Fire Chief Mike Gentosi. “It has been humbling to see how the departments have molded together and truly formed a single, cohesive organization that provides a superior level of service to both communities. This is a great organization to work for, and it was not an easy decision to decide to take another opportunity. I encourage anyone who desires an advancement or varying degree of experience to contemplate this position and department.”
The JGMFD has undoubtedly grown over the years. Today, they have 33 full-time and 26 part-time members. While Gentosi leaves to pursue another opportunity in a neighboring community, he is staying on part-time as a firefighter. “I will certainly miss working with Chief Clark, assisting the Captains and helping push the envelope on what the department is doing,” said Gentosi.
With a void left to fill, Gentosi said, “One of the biggest challenges someone will have as they step into this open position is fully grasping the complexity and background to the organization. With two cities also comes two budgets and two payrolls, but the challenge is certainly a good one.”
While there may be challenges, Gentosi also stated there are some fantastic opportunities. “One of the greatest opportunities is truly continuing a collaborative effort with our neighbors, the continued solidification of our current agreement, the potential expansion of our organization in years to come, and developing the line officers and firefighters to progress their careers,” said Gentosi.
While Gentosi has a great deal of experience, he looks forward to his next steps to move his career forward. “I cannot express enough what these last five years have meant to me,” said Gentosi.