Bill Hook, who has served as Cambridge Fire chief for almost five years, will move to Waverly July 1.
“I’ll miss the everyone because they are family, and I will miss helping people,” Hook said.
During his term, Hook has initiated several grants to update fire gear, equipment and trucks. Hook said one of his first goals was to replace the gear worn by the firemen.
“That was one of the first things I worked on as chief,” Hook said. “We used a $40,000 Assistance to Firefighter Grant through Homeland Security to update the gear.”
Hook also helped the department receive a $105,000 grant to replace self-contained breathing apparatus used by the firemen, a $7,500 grant to add a medical bed to an all-terrain rescue vehicle and a $25,000 Story County Community Foundation Grant to build an addition and add three large bays to the current fire station. The all-terrain vehicle was donated to the department by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The department also purchased a new rescue truck for $30,000, which was funded using city and county funds.
In 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad presented Hook with the Sullivan Brother’s Award of Valor, which is given to peace officers, firefighters and EMS personnel who perform heroic acts. Earlier that spring, Hook rescued two teenage girls from rushing flood waters in a creek located on the east side of Cambridge.
The Cambridge Fire Department consists of 22 volunteers and is funded through the city of Cambridge and Union Township. Volunteers are paid $5 a call and until this year, the chief received the same pay. Hook said this year the City Council agreed to increase that fire chief’s pay to $1,000 a year because of the billing, paperwork and extra duties involved with the job.
The Cambridge Fire Department began billing insurance companies for calls made outside Cambridge and Union County in 2011. Hook said that has helped the department replace the equipment it uses to answer those calls, which mainly involve accidents on I-35.
Bill and his wife Lyn moved to Cambridge in 2001, and he joined the fire department in 2002. Bill supervises eight convenience stores for the Danlee Corporation. They plan to move to Waverly on July 1 and Bill is planning to open a Farmers Insurance Agency office, either in Waverly or Waterloo.
Travis Rhiner will take over as the new fire chief on July 1.