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VIDEO | Hartford appoints new fire chief and proclaims May 3 as ‘Paul Stephans Day’

Hartford, WI – On the Tuesday, April 16, 2024, Hartford common council agenda the board will officially discuss appointing Anthony Burgard as the new Fire and Rescue Chief and Emergency Management Director effective May 3, 2024.

Burgard was hired as Assistant Fire Chief in February 2024. He will replace Chief Paul Stephans.  Tuesday’s council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Hartford City Hall.  Click HERE for the full agenda.

The council will also proclaim May 3 as “Paul Stephans Day.” Stephans submitted his formal letter of retirement on April 10, 2024.

Below are stories about the hiring process of Chief Anthony Burgard.

February 14, 2024 – Hartford, WI – The City of Hartford common council made it official Tuesday night and voted unanimously to accept Tony Burgard as Assistant Fire Chief until May 4, 2024, at which time he will take over as Chief of the department upon the retirement of current Chief Paul Stephans.

During the event Stephans also received a round of applause for his years of service to the community.

February 2, 2024 – Hartford, WI – On Thursday morning, the City of Hartford, WI welcomed Tony Burgard to the Fire and Rescue Department. Burgard formerly served as Chief of the Richfield Fire Company.
Burgard will be formally appointed by the Common Council on February 13, 2024, as Assistant Chief which he will serve until May 4, 2024, at which time he will take over as Chief of the department upon the retirement of current Chief Paul Stephans.

January 22, 2024 – Hartford, WI –  UPDATE: The City of Hartford common council meeting set for Tuesday, January 22, 2024, has been cancelled for lack of a quorum. The meeting is rescheduled for February 13, 2024, where the council will vote to approve its next fire chief.
fire chief
Hartford started the process to replace Chief Paul Stephans following his retirement announcement in November 2023. The City of Hartford put a succession plan in place so the new incoming chief would be able to shadow the outgoing chief before taking over.

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City Administrator Steve Volkert said the city felt continuity was very important in a hire of this magnitude.
“Especially when you have somebody who is as committed as Chief Paul Stevens is,” said Volkert. “We are very thankful for where he’s taken this department and when you have someone that good, you want them to really rub off heavily on the next person.”


During the February 2024, meeting the council will approve Anthony Burgard, 41, as Assistant Chief under Paul Stephans until Stephans retirement on May 3, 2024.

This is a working story, and more information will be published as details become available.

Below are stories tied to this topic published previously on WashingtonCountyInsider.com

January 4, 2024 – Hartford, WI – A even dozen applied for the Hartford Fire Chief position and this week interviews got underway.
Hartford Fire Department
“This week the Hartford Police & Fire Commission had round one of our interviews for our next Fire Chief,” said city administrator Steve Volkert.  “We hope to find a qualified finalist from this list who will then take over on May 4.”
It was announced in November 2023 that Chief Paul Stephans would be retiring in May 2024.
Below is the story published in November 2023 announcing the retirement of Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans.

November 16, 2023 – Hartford, WI – The City of Hartford is looking for a new fire chief as Chief Paul Stephans will be retiring in 2024.
fire Stephans chief
Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans

A product of Hartford, Stephans graduated Hartford Union High School, along with his five siblings and his children. Stephans advanced from Deputy Fire Chief to Chief following the retirement of Chief Robert Baus.

Applications for the job are due by 4 p.m. Friday, December 15, 2023.

Stephans indicated he would be stepping down in May 2024.

Below is the 3-page job description which lists the salary at $97,000 to $107,000.


The City of Hartford Fire & Rescue Department is in search for the next long-term, dedicated leader to move our department into the future.

HF&R has a rich and storied 160-year history based on the principals of going above and beyond to care for the residents in our area, just like we would our own family.  We have a combination department of 10 full-time plus over 60 part-time and paid on call staff.

This job sets the culture for this department that serves the City of Hartford and surrounding townships with a total population of 26,000 people with a fire district of 72 square miles and primary EMS response area of 136 square miles.

Our municipal-wide culture is one of cooperation, comradery and fun, in a family type atmosphere.

This position is mainly responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and reviewing all major activities of the Fire and Rescue Department, including fire suppression and prevention, emergency medical services-ALS level, fire education, fire safety and inspections, support services, community development, and emergency government coordination.

Candidates must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent experience, a minimum of five years Fire and EMS experience, four years’ experience in administration with specific experience in such areas as planning, budgeting, leadership, and training, and must be State certified or certifiable Fire Officer.

This is a full-time, exempt position with a municipal benefits package unmatched by anyone else.  Starting salary range for this department head position is $97,000 to $107,000 for 2024 DOQ, with a fast plan for financial growth.

Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans

Find out specifically more about this position and department at https://ci.hartford.wi.us/204/Fire-Rescue.

Resume and completed job application should be addressed to the attention of the President of the Police and Fire Commission and can be dropped off or mailed to Hartford City Hall, 109 North Main Street, Hartford.

Deadline to apply is Friday, December 15, 2023, at 4 p.m.

Below is the 3-page job description.

JD Fire Rescue Chief 2023

Below is the agenda item posted for the November 15, 2023 – special meeting.



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