Chris Klein is Woodbury’s new emergency medical services (EMS)/fire chief.
Klein, who was promoted from his fire/EMS commander post, will be responsible for directing basic and advanced life support emergency medical services, fire response, prevention and inspection, emergency preparedness and safety services, along with associated staff and programs.
Klein joined the city as a paid-on-call firefighter/emergency medical technician in October 2001. He was promoted to a full-time firefighter in 2004, earned his paramedic license in 2007 and was named fire/EMS commander in 2018. Klein’s experience as a paramedic will prove valuable in his new role.
“In Woodbury, more than 70% of fire/emergency medical services calls are medical related,” Woodbury Public Safety Director Lee Vague explained. “As the average age of our community members continues to rise, we expect our calls for medical service to continue to increase. So it was important to have someone in this role with extensive experience with both medical and fire calls, and Chris is an excellent fit.”
Woodbury provides its own advanced life support ambulance service and does not contract services out to a private ambulance service, which often respond to multiple communities across vast territories. This allows for faster paramedic level response times since Woodbury ambulances are responding from within the community.
A Sheboygan, Wis., native, Klein holds a degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he played football.
“After playing football, I missed being a part of a team and building a culture together as a group,” Klein explained. “That void was filled when I joined the city as a paid-on-call firefighter. Being a part of the team at the Public Safety Department over the years has been so gratifying and enjoyable. I look forward to continuing to build our team culture and tackling the challenges ahead.”
Klein has lived in Woodbury since 2001 and has been an active leader in the Woodbury Athletic Association for more than a decade, serving as a coach and now directing its youth football program. He and his wife Tracy have a family that includes Klein’s daughter, Quincie, and son, Carter, and Tracy’s three sons, Mason, Jack and Adam.
Klein replaces John Wallgren, who retired June 30 after 31 years of service.