Federal grant of $1.8 million will put 18 more people on the line for the Little Rock Fire Department.
UPDATE: Speaking of the Fire Department, the city today announced finalists for the open fire chief's position, including the current interim chief and two other internal applicants.
CITY OF LR NEWS RELEASE
Little Rock, AR (19 February 2009) After reviewing applications of people interested in becoming the next Little Rock Fire Chief, City Manager Bruce T. Moore has narrowed the list of candidates down to nine. These candidates will be interviewed over the next few weeks before Moore chooses the final candidates.
The applicants to be interviewed are:
· Jerry D. Brooks – Deputy Chief, Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department
· J. T. Cantrell -- Assistant Fire Chief, Little Rock Fire Department
· William E. Jolley – Assistant Fire Chief, St. Petersburg (FL) Fire & Rescue
· Don Kinney – Assistant Fire Chief, Little Rock Fire Department
· Raymond Lewis, Jr. – Division Fire Chief, Memphis (TN) Fire Department
· Gary Ludwig – Deputy Fire Chief, Memphis (TN) Fire Department
· Charles E. McMillan – Division Fire Chief, Denver (CO) Fire Department
· Dannie C. Smith – Retired Fire Chief, Sugar Land (TX) Fire Department
· Gregory C. Summers – Interim Fire Chief, Little Rock Fire Department
Moore noted, “I was pleased by the high caliber of applicants for this position. It speaks well to the past successes of the Little Rock Fire Department and the potential for even more accomplishments in the future. I look forward to getting the chance to interview these nine candidates over the next few weeks.”
Following the initial interviews, the most qualified candidates will be brought in for a final round of interviews and a public reception before the final selection is made.
The new Fire Chief will succeed Rhoda Mae Kerr, who was sworn-in as Fire Chief of Austin, Texas earlier this year.
CITY OF LR NEWS RELEASE
(Thursday, February 19, 2009) – Eighteen additional men and women will be joining the Little Rock Fire Department because the City received a SAFER Grant that was announced by US Senator Mark Pryor and US Representative Vic Snyder at a press conference today.
Joining the Congressional leaders in making the announcement were Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, City Manager Bruce T. Moore, other City leaders, Interim Fire Chief Gregory Summers and men and women of the Little Rock Fire Department.
The City will receive $1,856,906 to hire an additional 18 firefighters in 2009.
In making the announcement Senator Pryor praised those who go into fire service. “The men and women who put their lives on the line each day to keep our families and property safe are, indeed, heroes. I am grateful to them and am pleased to be here today to announce this grant which will put additional firefighters on the streets of Little Rock.”
Congressman Snyder echoed those points. “As first responders, the Little Rock Fire Department personnel play an integral role in keeping our City safe. The City of Little Rock and the Little Rock fire personnel have been working hard to obtain this federal funding to make the citizens of Little Rock safer. These are a great group of men and women, and I’m pleased their hard work has paid off.”
“Public Safety is the number one priority of the City of Little Rock,” stated Mayor Mark Stodola. “Over 23% of the City’s budget goes to the Fire Department. With the SAFER Grant, the City will be able to continue to effectively and efficiently serve the Little Rock citizenry.”
“Currently 70 % of our units are assigned four personnel, with the addition of these 18 firefighters 94% of our units will be assigned 4 personnel,” noted Interim Fire Chief Gregory C. Summers. “As a result of the enhanced staffing, the citizens of Little Rock can be assured that the exceptional service that they have come to expect of the LRFD will only be enhanced.”
U S Senator Blanche Lincoln was unable to attend the announcement due to recent surgery but sent a representative from her office.
Both Mayor Stodola and Chief Summers thanked Senators Pryor and Lincoln, Congressman Snyder, City Manager Bruce T. Moore, the City’s Finance Department, the firm of Finnegan and Company, and the Little Rock Fire Department personnel for their efforts in obtaining the grant.