Justin Sorensen is Waconia’s new fire chief.

His selection was confirmed Oct. 18 by the city council following an evaluation of two internal candidates involving council members, department heads and fire department personnel.

The fire department has been operating under a shared assistant chief arrangement involving Sorensen and Mike Dressel since February following the resignation of former chief Chris Nelson.

Sorensen has 16 years of service as a member of the Waconia Fire Department in various roles including captain and the past two years as an assistant chief. He also has been a member of the city’s Public Services team since 2007. He started in the street department and held multiple positions within public works and the fire department since, most recently as a Public Services technician and an assistant chief.

Sorensen will transition from his current full-time role with the Public Services division into the full-time fire chief position fire chief position effective Nov. 1.

Sorensen is the son of long-time former fire chief Randy Sorensen, now a city councilman. Sorensen abstained in the council confirmation vote because of the connection.

“Growing up the son of a chief, I knew I would find a way to be involved in firefighting, but didn’t know to what capacity or when,” said Justin Sorensen.

A 2000 Waconia High School graduate, Sorensen joined the Mankato Fire Department through a resident firefighter program while attending college there to study automotive engineering technology. Upon graduation, he returned to Waconia to begin a career in that field and joined the Waconia Fire Department.

“I have been working my way up the ranks and educating myself the last five years or so to prepare myself for an administrative fire career,” Sorensen said.

He is married to wife Brittany and the couple have two kids, Natalie, age 16, and Ryder, 12.

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