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Hold On a Second...

I have attended two of the meetings for discussion concerning the new fire chief conducted by the Water's Group. I cannot say it has been a waste of taxpayer money... yet. City management has not yet made a ridiculous implementation adverse to the company's recommendations, if they will even adhere to their input, as they have done so many times in the past. In neither of those meetings did I hear a firefighter say that they wanted a professor for their new Chief. Moreover, several of the citizens of Wilmington in attendance expressed their interests in the new Chief having a solid educational background as well. General consensus was the new Chief shall have a Bachelor's degree with preference given to a Master's degree WITH experience in the fire service including supervisory experience. True a degree will not put out a fire, but skills and abilities learned while attaining that degree will enhance their abilities in future leadership roles. As for the Association... Did not they conduct an assessment prior to the Water's Group assessment? And were there not striking similarities in both assessments? It sounds to me that the Association has some intelligent individuals in it. As far as promoting from within... Sure there may be someone capable of doing the job, but dare I continue? Let us look at Charleston, SC. Their firefighters were complaining prior to June 18 of similar circumstances. Their Chief had been promoted from within. They were an ISO Class 1 department. They brought up issues in training, promotions, equipment, things similar to that of which the WFD are bringing up. Sadly no one listened and nine firefighters lost their lives. The final reports came back citing the department was "undermanned", "ill-equipped", and "not adequately trained" to handle the fire that befell them last year. The Chief submitted his resignation shortly after the reports became public. The Chief is ultimately responsible in making sure that their department is staffed, equipped, and trained to handle emergencies now and in the future. We cannot be complaisant with what we have. We need an educated individual that is a forward thinker who will dedicate themselves to bettering the department and the services it provides to the city.

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