SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — Spearfish officially has a leader for a new city fire department that was created after months of turmoil late last year.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports Mark Sachara was hired as fire chief in April and took the oath of office Monday. He most recently served with the Ponderosa Fire District in Bellemont, Arizona. He's the first paid fire chief in Spearfish.

The City Council created the fire department in January, following the recommendation of a task force formed to discuss the future of fire protection in Spearfish. The department has three full-time paid positions and a volunteer staff.

The Spearfish Volunteer Fire Department had voted last fall to dissolve, citing a lack of support and low morale. It reversed the decision after the task force made its recommendation.

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