NORTH BEND - North Bend has apparently found their next fire chief after an extensive search process had narrowed a list of prospects down to four finalists.

The four came to town earlier this month for the final, and lengthy, interview process and all, according to the city administrator, impressed the hiring panel.

Ultimately, Terence O’Connor said, a conditional offer was made to Mark Meaker.  Meaker, a 39-year veteran firefighter, recently retired from six years at the Logan, Utah, fire department. He is expected to start in North Bend on Nov. 18.

O’Connor said there were a number of reasons Meaker rose to the top of their list.

“One was his ability to build bridges between various entities,” O’Connor said.

Other qualities he displayed, according to O’Connor, included being an adept communicator and consensus builder. “He understands some of the issues involved with emergency services.”

The conditional offer is dependent on the completion of the background vetting process. The city administrator will travel to Logan this week, along with North Bend’s new police chief, Rob Kappelman, to complete the background check and verify references. He is not expecting to uncover anything that would cause them to change their minds.

“We’re really excited with the choice,” O’Connor added. “In fact, I was thrilled with the quality of all the finalists we had.”