Aidan Gause elected chief of Lewes FD

Call to serve has guided his firefighting career
January 30, 2023

The new chief of the Lewes Fire Department knows a little something about rendering aid. The word is not only the first three letters of his name, but also a calling for Aidan Gause.

Recently elected by his fellow members to lead the department, Gause applied to become a member when he was just 14 years old. At the time, he was a junior lifeguard, but his friend had told him about the opportunity to become a volunteer firefighter. Gause said he had always wanted to help people and discovered one of the most effective ways to do that was membership in a volunteer fire company. Eventually, he would go on to become captain of the junior firefighters. 

“The people that I’ve worked alongside of for the last 15 years trust me enough and they’re putting their faith in me to lead their organization,” Gause said. “The organization belongs to the membership, not just me.”

Over the last two years, Gause has served as deputy chief and has been a director in the department since 2019. He began his fire line officer career in 2013 as a fire lieutenant before becoming a senior lieutenant in 2015. In 2016, Gause served as the marine captain and became a safety officer the following year. From 2018-20, he served in various capacities as an assistant chief.

Gause said during his time as deputy chief, he started to become interested in the administrative side of the department. In his new role as chief, he is in charge of the operational side of things, but also has administrative duties to fulfill. Funding, budgets and management of records are just some of the responsibilities the chief is tasked with, and Gause has spent the last two years preparing for success with administrative dealings. On the operational side, Gause said he has been exposed to a lot of different incidents and received training all across the country. For several years, in his role as captain, Gause has been making tactical decisions on the scene, but as chief more is required.

“Making sure our people are spun up in a way that allows them to effectively respond to [alarms, calls], acquiring and maintaining the equipment that we use to make those responses ... that all falls under me,” Gause said.

Mayor Andrew Williams announced Gause as the new fire chief during the Jan. 9 mayor and city council meeting. Gause asked Williams to add that the department is equipped to administer training to groups of residents, businesses and homeowners associations. Gause said the department has in-house instructors for CPR and a program called Stop the Bleed to teach people how to properly render aid when it is needed. They also have a children’s fire prevention program.

While it is rare for first responders to arrive on the scene where someone is already performing CPR or rendering aid, when it does occur, it is beneficial to the patient outcome. More information about setting up classes is available by calling 302-645-6556.

Gause said it is an honor to be entrusted with what he refers to as a fine organization. He said there is work to be done, but leadership cooperation and buy-in from members will allow the department to complete a few projects that have been long overdue. One goal for the year is to establish a full-time firefighting unit dedicated to staffing one of the trucks and available for calls directly from the department.

The new fire chief will lead a department that responded to a total of 6,935 calls – 943 fire, 5,992 EMS – in 2022. Before opening or grabbing a calculator, that’s an average of 19 calls per day.


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