City responds to “inaccurate” information, relating to fire chief

File photo of Bemidji Fire Dept. truck
File photo of Bemidji Fire Dept. truck(Bemidji, MN Fire Dept.)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 3:41 PM CDT
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BEMIDJI, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The City of Bemidji is addressing misleading and inaccurate information in the community, related to Fire Chief Justin Sherwood’s employment status within the city.

City leaders say Sherwood is employed by the city as Fire Chief. However, he is currently on a leave of absence. Under Minnesota’s government data privacy laws, the city cannot state the reason for an employee’s leave.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Yavarow is fulfilling the duties and responsibilities until Sherwood’s return.

City leaders say Sherwood has been employed in the city’s fire department since 2004 and has been chief since 2021. The city has never taken any disciplinary action against Sherwood while he has been employed with the city.

The Bemidji Fire Department, under Sherwood and Yavarow, will continue to provide safe, effective and efficient fire services to the citizens of Bemidji and the surrounding area.