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Chesterfield's Fire Chief Takes On Top Post Amid Controversy

New chief of Monarch Fire Protection District "sworn in."

Chesterfield-based Monarch Fire Protection District Thursday night at a regular public meeting of the district's three-member board of directors.

Board President Kim Evans conducted a ceremonial swearing-in at administrative headquarters, 13725 Olive Blvd., since Vineyard's first day of work was Jan. 2.

Vineyard was with Mid-County Fire Protection District since 1988.

Top firefighting brass from University City, Pattonville, West County Fire and others watched Vineyard take over his post, leaving after the brief protocol.

Vineyard takes the job amid controversey, The case recognized "abusive treatment" of female firefighting staff and the subsequent firing of male superiors.

One of the fired battalion chiefs took his own life two weeks after the firing.

Vineyard's first order of public business was to report on two firefighters relagated to "light duty." He asked the district's new attorney whether those of light duty could use a note from a district doctor to determine their standing.

The advice included that the chief could use discretion in determining whether an employee could take on certain kinds of work, or not.

Monarch's website said Vineyard has 23 years of experience in the field, and is secretary of the Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association.

Vineyard was named Fire Chief/Fire Marshal in 2004. Prior to that, he was a captain and training officer, according to the website.

Vineyard replaces

Monarch FPD covers 62.5 square miles in Chesterfield, Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood, and unincorporated St. Louis County, and employs 125.

(In 2003, the department's name was changed from Chesterfield Fire Protection District, to Monarch.)

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