BATAVIA – During a firefighting career than has spanned nearly three decades, Ed Jancauskas has been a leader at the Batavia Fire Department.
Now, Jancauskas is preparing for his biggest leadership role yet, as deputy fire chief, the department’s second-in-command.
Jancauskas will be sworn in as the new fire deputy at the March 7 meeting of the Batavia City Council.
Six persons, all from within the department, applied for the deputy post, Fire Chief Randy Deicke said, and Jancauskas scored highest in the testing process.
As deputy chief, Jancauskas will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the department, from vehicle maintenance to safety programs.
“I want to keep the department in a forward motion and keep people focused on what they are supposed to do,” Jancauskas said.
With fewer structure fires these days to provide actual experience for firefighters, this means training operations are key.
“Training is more vital now than ever,” Jancauskas said.
After high school, Jancauskas was serving in the U.S. Navy when he was first exposed to firefighting and decided to pursue it as a career.
“I thought it would be a cool thing to do,” Jancauskas said.
Jancauskas joined the Batavia Fire Department in 1987 as a paid-on-call firefighter, and went full time in 1990.
By 1999, Jancauskas had been promoted to lieutenant, serving as a shift commander. He finally was appointed a battalion chief in 2007.
With 23 full-time firefighters and a paid-on-call crew of between 27 and 35, Jancauskas and the command staff are managing a force with many young people.
“It’s our responsibility to understand what makes them tick,” Jancauskas said. “You can’t just give somebody an order. They want to understand why.”
Jancauskas replaces Randy Banker, who took a firefighting post in Wisconsin.