Elkhart's Mayor Roberson taps Dale to be interim fire chief

Elkhart, Ind. – After a recent announcement that Elkhart Fire Department Chief Shaun Edgerton was retiring, it was announced Friday afternoon that Assistant Chief Rodney Dale will begin the new year as the inter fire chief.

Assistant Chief Kristi Sommer will remain in her role as assistant chief. 

"Dale and Sommer are the perfect duo to maintain leadership and consistency at the Elkhart Fire Department in the coming year," said Elkhart Director of Communications Corinne Straight. "They are a collaborative team more than 27 years in the making."

According to Straight, both Dale and Sommer were hired on the same day in 1996 and have each held nearly every position within the department.

“This has been a dream of mine throughout my entire career,” Dale said. “I have held multiple positions since I was hired in ’96 and each of them have prepared me in unique ways to become chief. I am excited to continue working with Asst. Chief Sommer and the entire staff at the Elkhart Fire Department and execute the vision we have for serving this city.”

Dale will assume his role as Interim Fire Chief on Jan. 1, 2024. Straight says Mayor Rod Roberson expects to make a permanent announcement on the position by the end of the first quarter.

“This advancement within the fire department highlights the benefits of having a solid succession plan," said Roberson. "Opportunities to rise through the ranks in Elkhart allows firefighters to gain leadership skills that prepare them to become the next Rodney Dale.”

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