Chattanooga fire chief search down to four candidates

Chattanooga fire chief search down to four candidates

October 8th, 2017 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

In this file photo from August 2016, Chief Chris Adams waits for MDA ambassadors to arrive outside of Chattanooga Fire Station 1 off of Main Street in preparation to kick off of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Fire Fighter Fill The Boot campaign.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

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City officials say Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke soon will appoint a new fire chief.

Maura Sullivan, Chattanooga's chief operating officer, confirmed that half of the eight candidates who interviewed for the job have been eliminated.

"We have narrowed it down to four candidates," Sullivan said.

She indicated the selection process included another round of interviews for the finalists. Sullivan would not release their names, pending notification of the candidates.

Of the eight applicants selected for the first round of interviews, four came from within the Chattanooga Fire Department. The group included administrative chiefs Philip Hyman and Seth Miller and battalion chiefs Carlos Hampton and Evan Willmore, according to records provided by Chattanooga's Department of Human Resources.

The other four candidates who made the first-round interview list included two Tennesseans: Mark Boyd, a regional coordinator/instructor for the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy in West Tennessee, and Michael Putt, retired fire division services director for Memphis. Jeffery Alberts, research and planning officer for fire and emergency services of Savannah, Ga., and Jason Campbell, an independent emergency services consultant from Powhatan, Va., also made it to the initial interview round.

Chattanooga Fire Department Capts. William Andrews, David Brooks, Donielle Dean and Shawn Reese applied for the post but were not selected for interviews.

Sixty-two applicants from across the United States responded to the fire chief job posting listed on the Chattanooga government website from July 25 through Aug. 1.

The next chief will replace Chris Adams, who Berke appointed to helm the fire department in 2015. Adams, who joined the department in 1990, retired at the end of September.

In late August, Berke praised Adams in a statement.

"Chattanooga is fortunate to have a dedicated leader serving the Chattanooga Fire Department and working every day to protect lives and property in our city," Berke said, also citing Adams' "incredible talent, compassion and persistence" as an advocate for firefighters.

Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

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