“We’re going to miss him. What’s our loss is Richfield’s gain.”
Those were the words of St. Louis Park Fire Chief Luke Stemmer on Monday. He was talking about assistant chief Mike Dobesh who, after 14 years with the department, is stepping down at the end of this week to take a job with the Richfield Fire Department.
“I have appreciated all of my time in St. Louis Park,” Dobesh said at Monday's City Council meeting, where he was recognized. “The city has been incredibly supportive throughout my career.”
Though Dobesh technically started his career with the St. Louis Park Fire Department in 1998, he actually got his toes wet in 1996, when he was a paid on-call firefighter. He liked the part-time work and soon became a full-timer.
Eventually, Dobesh took over training for the paid on-call program that gave him his start.
“He rose very quickly," Stemmer said. “He’s done a good job.”
With Dobesh leaving, the department will have two remaining assistant chiefs, along with chief Stemmer. It is unclear at this point if the department will fill Dobesh's position. The city is currently studying issues of public safety planning, and the results might impact the structure of the department in the future.