Franklin veteran named Cudahy's new chief

Mayer plans to go out on firefighting calls

March 31, 2009

The search is over. Dan Mayer will be the new Cudahy fire chief.

The 48-year-old Franklin fire battalion chief will take over the Cudahy Fire Department on April 7 with an annual salary of $83,945. The city will also contribute $16,789 to Mayer's pension each year.

Mayer began his career as an on-call firefighter at the Franklin Fire Department in 1986. Prior to becoming a firefighter, he was a science teacher at Vincent High School in Milwaukee.

Since becoming a full-time firefighter/paramedic in 1989, Mayer moved up the ranks in Franklin. In 1995, he was promoted to fire lieutenant/paramedic and was advanced to fire captain and to battalion chief. He also served as the interim fire chief at the FFD for about eight months in 2002.

He also served two terms on the Franklin School Board from 1998 to 2002.

Mayer's wife and family are Cudahy natives. Mayer also lived in Cudahy for about five years.

"I think it's a very nice community," he said. "Not very many communities can boast of the wide-open lakeshore along the entire city."

Compared to the Franklin Fire Department, Cudahy employs a smaller staff, but the call volume is proportionally about the same, he said.

He said the CFD is "fairly progressive," noting that some of his ideas he was hoping to bring to the department are already in place.

Mayer plans to launch an officer development program for firefighters who want to become officers and for current officers to discuss leadership topics as well as tactics and strategies specific to firefighting, he said.

"I also plan on going on calls, which is kind of a rarity for fire chiefs, but I plan on going on calls just to make sure that the training and equipment that the firefighters are getting is working for them and to stay in touch with what the real-world of firefighting is," he said.

Prior to accepting the job in Cudahy, Mayer had applied to be fire chief in Menomonee Falls and Brookfield and was a finalist for both positions, he said.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

At a Glance

WHAT: swearing-in ceremony for new Cudahy Fire Chief Dan Mayer

WHEN: 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8

WHERE: City Hall, 5050 S. Lake Drive


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