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The original item was published from 3/10/2021 1:34:06 PM to 3/29/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: March 10, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Roseville Fire Chief to Retire, Successor Named

Chief Tim ONeill

After 32 years with the Roseville Fire Department, Chief Tim O’Neill will hang up his gear for the final time on May 31. City Manager Patrick Trudgeon announced that O’Neill, who has served as Chief since 2010, is retiring.

Trudgeon also announced that Assistant Fire Chief David Brosnahan has been selected as Roseville’s next Fire Chief.

O’Neill oversaw a dramatic evolution in Roseville’s fire and emergency services in his more than 10 years as chief. From infrastructure and training to operations and personnel, O’Neill helped drive and manage necessary changes to the department in order to stay ahead of the growing needs of the community it serves.

“I can’t thank Chief O’Neill enough for his years of service to the Roseville community, first as a volunteer firefighter, later as Assistant Fire Chief and obviously the last decade as Roseville Fire Chief,” Trudgeon said. “The City of Roseville’s fire and emergency services has developed into a model department under Chief O’Neill’s leadership and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his service.”

The city’s changing demographics, an expansion of services and an increase in call volume through his decade-plus tenure as chief made Roseville one of the busiest suburban departments in the state. O’Neill responded by guiding a modernization effort designed to ensure that the responsiveness and professionalism of the department was sustainable.

“It’s been a great pleasure to serve the citizens of Roseville these 32 years,” O’Neill said. “My goal has always been to bring the best possible services to the community, while keeping my firefighters safe and healthy. I believe I have accomplished both of these goals, and set the department on a solid foundation for future leadership to build upon in decades to come.”

O’Neill oversaw the consolidation of the department’s three aging, outdated fire stations into the modern, state-of-the-art command center and training facility at the corner of Lexington Ave. and Woodhill Dr. that opened in 2013 and currently serves as the department’s home.

Equally as impactful has been Roseville’s transition from a part-time staffing and response fire service to a professional, full-time emergency services organization. The transition began in 2014 with the hiring of six full-time firefighters. Today, the department boasts 26 full-time firefighters (including its Chief and Assistant Chief), enabling Roseville to have three staffed vehicles available 24/7 to respond to fire and medical emergencies and the ability to have two fire companies on the scene at a fire incident.

As chief, O’Neill also made connecting with the Roseville community a priority. Firefighters hosted lemonade stands throughout of the community to connect with the city’s youth, welcomed families and community members to the station for open houses and Fridays with Firefighters events, participated in the Family Night Out celebrations in Central Park, brought important safety messaging to Roseville schools, and educated the city’s retirement community with programs like the Remembering When fire and fall prevention program for older adults.

But it will be the people, not necessarily the job, that O’Neill misses the most as he closes this significant and impactful chapter of his life.

“I have been blessed to have worked with some of the most talented and dedicated firefighters and staff a fire chief could ask for,” said O’Neill. “To be surrounded by such a caring and driven group of people was truly a lucky break and I will miss them dearly.”

O’Neill also acknowledged that his professional responsibilities weren’t always easy on his family and is grateful for their support and understanding throughout his career. 

“I would like to thank my family, my wife Shannon and our four sons. Thirty two years in the fire service meant a lot of missed dinners, birthdays, holidays, and the worry they experience every time I had to rush out the door on a call.” O’Neill said. “A family of a firefighter makes a lot of sacrifices over 32 years, and without their support I could not have accomplished the things I did.”

Assistant Fire Chief Brosnahan, who has been with Roseville Fire since 2003 and worked side-by-side with O’Neill in a management role during the department’s facility planning and personnel restructuring, will assume the role of Fire Chief on June 1.

Brosnahan has served as Roseville’s Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Manager since 2016. In addition to his management role with the fire department, he has been the city’s point person for strategic emergency response, preparation and training. As such, Brosnahan has played a crucial role as Roseville’s primary liaison with the Department of Homeland Security, the State of Minnesota and Ramsey County and for the last year has led the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Succession planning has been a hallmark of Chief O’Neill’s leadership with the Roseville Fire Department and the city is fortunate to have a highly qualified and experienced individual in Assistant Chief Brosnahan ready to step forward as its next Fire Chief,” said Trudgeon. “David has played several key roles with the department throughout his Roseville career, including managing the city’s COVID-19 response for the past year, and I am pleased to announce his appointment as Fire Chief.”

Brosnahan was promoted to the position of full-time shift commander with Roseville in 2006. In 2011, he was named city’s Battalion Chief and Co-Emergency Manager before assuming his current responsibilities as Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Manager in 2016.

“I am incredibly humbled and excited for this significant opportunity,” Brosnahan said. “The Fire Department is primed to continue to evolve and change how we provide emergency services for our community, and it is my honor to continue to maintain these services and the public’s trust they have in us.

“I also want to thank Chief O’Neill for his mentorship and support. I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunities he has provided me. His leadership has been essential to the development of our personnel, staffing, and equipment. He truly changed the game with respect to how we provide our services to the Roseville community.” 

Brosnahan earned his bachelor’s degree from Hamline University in 2005 while simultaneously serving as a part-time, paid-on-call Roseville firefighter. Following graduation, he worked as a full-time firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) for the City of West St. Paul and continued his part-time role with Roseville. He added a public health/EMS graduate certificate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities School of Public Health to his resume in 2012 before completing an associate’s degree in fire science at Hennepin Technical College in 2013.

The City of Roseville will host a farewell celebration for Chief O’Neill in May to congratulate him on his career and retirement. Details regarding that event will be announced when they become available.

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