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Iona Mayor and career firefighter face off in Bonneville Fire District race

East Idaho Elects

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IONA — It has been years since those in the Bonneville Fire Protection District #1 have had a contested race.

During Tuesday’s election, voters living within the fire district can choose between Daniel “Dan” Gubler and Tyler Gebs for commission seat five. The seat was recently created when Ammon joined the fire district in 2020. While other commission seats are up for election, seat five is the only contested race.

Bonneville Fire Protection District #1 operates fire stations in a populous section of Bonneville County. According to recent commission meeting minutes, the district is operating on a $3.4 million tax levy for the upcoming fiscal year. It is the commission that approves the budgets and other matters for the district.

Here is a little more about the two candidates.

Daniel Gubler:

Gubler moved to eastern Idaho in the early 2000s and came into public service after experiences in the Army National Guard. Gubler was serving in Iraq in 2005 when an explosion left him temporarily blind and with the loss of an arm.

When a vacancy came up for the commission in 2007, Gubler felt he needed to put his name in the running with the desire to continue to serve. He has been on the commission since and was appointed as Iona’s mayor in 2016.

“It is our responsibility to provide fire protection, provide the best equipment we possibly can, but do it as affordably as we can,” Gubler said. “For the commissioners that have been there, we have been very focused on the numbers.”

Gubler said the commission has been able to keep the levy rate at or below where it has been for years. He said by doing so they have not had to go to the community and ask for more money to provide fire services.

“We also have been very open about what our responsibilities are,” Gubler said. “All of our meetings are held open to the public, you can read our minutes online … we publish our contact information so you can contact us directly and express concerns.”

Gubler said as part of his experience on the commission he was able to help get surplus off-road fire fighting equipment at a lower cost. He also says the district has been able to build three fire stations, improving response times for those living within the fire district.

Tyler Gebs:

Gebs has lived in eastern Idaho his entire life. He said he is running as a fire commissioner because he sees a need for “a fresh perspective, improved transparency and leadership from someone who understands the fire service.”

Gebs works as a full-time firefighter for the Pocatello Fire Department.

“I believe that the biggest challenge that faces the fire district is the continuing growth that we are experiencing,” Gebs said. “The county looks very different now than when the fire district was first created.”

Gebs explained the area cities and the fire district need better cooperation to ensure the best planning and service for the community.

“The Idaho Falls Fire Department has been contracted to serve the county patrons for the better part of 30 years and provides great service to county residents,” Gebs said. “The relationship between the area cities and fire district has a very long history, not always a very positive one, and all parties are at a pivotal time, experiencing record growth.”

The Gebs family has a long history within the fire service of eastern Idaho. Geb’s father worked 32 years with the Idaho Falls Fire Department and his brother is now a firefighter for the same department.

“Due to this exposure, I am confident in having a sound understanding of what defines great fire protection and what current fire service standards and metrics are,” Gebs said. “This industry‚Äôs services are much more dynamic than the general public typically understands.”

Gebs said if elected it will be his mission to not only be transparent but also educate and bring awareness to the fire services the district is receiving.

You can find out more about Gubler on his website and more information on Gebs on his Facebook page.