O.S. stays in the department to hire new chief

Previously served as acting/interim chief, replaces Bathke

Michael Thuirer, a 20-year veteran of the Ocean Shores Fire Department, has been named the city’s new fire chief, replacing David Bathke, who was placed on administrative leave in January and is currently involved in a legal battle over his apparent termination.

“We are delighted to announce the promotion of Fire Captain Mike Thuirer to fire chief to the City of Ocean Shores Fire Department,” said a statement from Mayor Crystal Dingler.

“Mike joined the city Fire Department over 20 years ago as a firefighter/paramedic. In March 2000, he was accepted to participate on the Surf Rescue Team and worked side-by-side with the Ocean Shores Police Department in water rescues for nine years in the ocean surf and lakes. In 2005 he was promoted to captain.”

Thuirer also served as interim fire chief for the city in 2014 and then resumed his position as captain when another previous chief, Tom Lique, was hired. Lique resigned after less than two full years when he was first placed on administrative leave due to a lengthy medical absence, which then led to Bathke’s hiring in June 2017.

When Bathke was placed on leave after a unanimous department no-confidence vote in his leadership last December, Thuirer was brought in to oversee operations.

“Again in December 2018, Mike took on the Acting Fire Chief position and has worked hard to redefine the chief’s role,” Dingler said of the most recent move.

He began his career in 1990 in Snohomish County with Fire District No. 11, now Snohomish County Fire Department 1, starting as a volunteer.

He later moved to Roseburg, Ore., where he attended the Umpqua Community College paramedic program while also working for W.E.S.T Ambulance service. Thuirer and his wife, Cindy, have lived in Ocean Shores for more than 20 years.”

In March of 2014, the Thuirers opened North Beach Realty in Ocean Shores. Mike’s parents have lived in Ocean Shores for almost 30 years, and one of their sons and his family live and work in Ocean Shores.

“Mike has played a key role in the growth and development of the Ocean Shores Fire Department, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are excited about his new role with the city,” Dingler said.