When Shane Preston starts Nov. 13 in his new role as deputy fire chief for the city of Hays, he’ll be assisting Fire Chief Ryan Hagans as well as the department’s 22 full-time firefighters.

Preston is currently fire department chief in Russell, where he’s worked as a firefighter for 18 years.

“He’s done a lot for the city of Russell, bringing them into a modern fire department,” said Hagans. “He brings in fresh ideas, and he’s a forward thinker and good with public events. He has a lot of what we’d like to bring to Hays.”

The deputy fire chief’s role is to carry out fire code inspection and enforcement, and see that fire protection equipment is properly installed in new construction commercial buildings as well as maintained in existing ones, Hagans said.

The deputy fire chief also helps with training for captains and lieutenants, and serves in the role of the fire chief in Hagans’ absence, as well as assist with long range planning and to represent the department at public events.

Preston started in Russell as a volunteer firefighter, according to Russell’s web site, and then in May 2013 became Russell’s fire chief.

He has an Associate of Applied Science from North Central Kansas Technical School, Beloit, and has completed the Certified Public Manager program at the University of Kansas.

Preston fills the deputy fire chief position left vacant in August when Hagans was promoted to fire chief.

The fire department protects 21,000 people in eight square miles from two stations, according to the department’s web site.