Ron Wise served as the Executive Director (Fire Chief) of South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) from 2008 until June, 2020.
He served with a tireless commitment toward enhancing the quality of life for South Haven residents and visitors with first-class fire protection and emergency services.
Under his leadership SHAES became viewed as a model of intergovernmental cooperation serving the City of South Haven and townships of Casco, Geneva and South Haven.
At the time of his retirement SHAES employed 16 fulltime employees, in addition to 30 paid-on-call firefighters, a communication staff and seasonal beach safety interns. The department operates out of three stations, utilizing nearly 20 different types of rolling stock, ranging from ambulances to a fire boat to a 93-foot ladder tower. In 2019 the department responded to over 2,000 calls for assistance.
Under his leadership, the community’s ISO rating was improved in non-hydrant areas in 2015, helping homeowners to receive reduced fire insurance policy costs. In his final months of his service he capably managed key elements of the community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Ron Wise was very much a hands-on fire chief. He got involved in actual fire-fighting when appropriate. He retained his certifications to be able to be part of the medical response team when needed.
Outside his profession, Ron has been active in the community and at his church. He was a mentor to the South Haven High School Robotics team. He successfully balanced being a leader in a highly stressful occupation and nurturing a wonderful family. His wife, Kim, is Human Resources Director for the City of South Haven. Their two children are currently college students.