Danny Sandker, a 16-year veteran of the Columbia Fire Department, has been promoted to division chief. Sandker, 42, a resident of Sturgeon, now sits two ranks below the top.
Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said Sandker was promoted after Joe Innis, a 20-year veteran, retired from the position. Innis’ last day was Nov. 30 and Sandker began on Dec. 1.
Sapp praised Sandker for his character, knowledge and intelligence.
“Danny is a good firefighter,” Sapp said. “He understands the behavior and chemistry of the organization. He gets along with crews and he knows how to lead. ... I know he will do a great job.”
Sandker started as an engineer and drove fire trucks, Sapp said. He was then promoted to lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief. As a division chief, he now has control over an entire shift, including emergency services and day-to-day operations.
Sandker oversees personnel from eight different fire stations, along with 11 fire trucks, Sapp said. Sandker will respond to emergency fire calls and act as the incident commander. This means in the event of a fire, he would establish the operations of the available personnel.
Sapp said Sandker’s transition to the new job has been smooth.
“There is always that difficult change, when you go from buddy to boss, but he has made that transition very well,” Sapp said.
Sandker said he is thrilled about the promotion.
“I have worked my way up through the ranks and I am very happy with my progress,” he said.