Nicholas Brink was named the Allegan Fire District’s new chief on Jan. 1, 2017. Brink is looking forward to a new year after a turbulent 2016, when the 20-year chief was ousted and his replacement ended up arrested for child pornography. However, Brink said the department is doing very well, morale is high and they are heading in a new direction as far as building relations with the community. “The guys on the department thrive on community involvement and are excited to partner more often with communities,” Brink said. “The firemen and fire board have been super supportive through the last year, the guys are confident, don’t complain and are happy to be here. “There’s been some struggles but we’re moving forward in a good direction.” Including Brink, the department has 24 firefighters. Brink has been a fireman for the past 12 years. He was hired by the Allegan Township Fire Department in 2004 and has been with the fire district since its inception. Brink was promoted to lieutenant in 2014, captain in 2015, deputy chief in 2016 and interim chief the same year. He is a 1997 Allegan High School graduate. joining the Army from 1997 to 2000. Stationed at Ft. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne, he was a petroleum supply specialist, refueling and re-arming helicopters. Brink joined Perrigo in 2001, where he served as a tablet and liquid mixer before being promoted to production coordinator in 2011. While at Perrigo, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management through Westwood College. Allegan Township supervisor Steve Schulz, who is also on the fire board, said Brink’s appointment was a positive step for the department. “We’re real happy with the appointment,” he said at the township’s Jan. 2 meeting. “We’re trying to move on. He’s been doing a really good job with all that’s gone on. I believe it’s really good for the fire district.” No pinning ceremony was held for the new chief. “That was at my request,” Brink said. “I didn’t need a show, I just want to pick up the pieces, continue marching forward, and the time could be better spent doing something for the department or community.” In what time Brink has leftover between work and running a fire department, he says he loves to bowl and spend time with his children, including a son who has raced quarter midgets in Kalamazoo for the past five years.