Three of the four candidates not chosen for chief of the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department were given new leadership roles within the department, Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced today, as part of a new command structure.
Stimpson named District Chief Doug Cooper as chief of operations, District Chief Jeremy Lami as chief of staff and Deputy Chief Myron King will assume the position of chief of support. The two remaining deputy chiefs will be retained, but the other deputy chief and assistant chief positions will not be filled.
“Each of these men have demonstrated outstanding leadership,” Stimpson said. “These promotions are a recognition of their commitment to serving our community. Together, they will help us become the safest, most business and family friendly city in America.”
The remaining former applicant for chief, Deputy Chief Ken Keller, will work directly under Cooper as deputy chief of training/EMS. Randy Smith, Stimpson’s first nominee for MFRD chief, will be a deputy chief of operations, under Cooper. Smith was never brought up for a vote of the City Council earlier in Stimpson’s term and was eventually replaced.
All three candidates in the new command structure submitted a strategic plan, as well as endured individual assessments and in-depth interviews, as part of the fire chief application process.
There will be another change at the top of the MFRD command structure, as Assistant Chief Billy Pappas, who served as chief on an interim basis, is set to retire. His position will not be replaced.
The city hopes to initially save $250,000 with the moves by not replacing the positions previously held by King, Cooper and Lami, in addition to Pappas retiring. King, Cooper and Lami were only transitioned into different roles and will still be paid a salary. Public Safety Director James Barber told reporters at a press conference that the department hopes to realize more than $1 million in savings through attrition within the next two years.
In addition to the leadership changes, Stimpson also announced the delivery of a new fire engine for use at Fire Station 20 on Dauphin Island Parkway. It replaces the 1997 model engine at the station, Stimpson said.
“The fire truck will allow our firefighters to more to more efficiently respond to our citizens in need,” Stimpson said. “I am committed to providing additional equipment and resources to further enable and improve the service of MFRD to our community.”