By Ralph Echtinaw
Bethany Township resident Bill Coty, 44, takes over today as chief of the St. Louis Area Fire Department.
Coty was promoted (from lieutenant) by the Fire Board last month to replace Rich Apps, 69, who announced his impending retirement last summer.
Coty’s 18 years of experience in firefighting includes stints as training officer, Gratiot Fire Chiefs Association training chairman and treasurer/secretary to the chiefs association.
Coty outlined a few of his goals in a press release:
“We have great equipment, a new fire station and a board that supports our mission. I want to build on that foundation and maintain the historic quality of this department that has been put in place by retiring Chief Richard Apps. His 39 year career, with the last 21 as chief, has put our department in great shape as he turns over the reins. I look forward to using my skills to keep what we have and bring added value to the community through the actions of our department.”
The St. Louis Area Fire Department is jointly owned and operated by the City of St. Louis along with the Townships of Jasper, Bethany and Pine River.