There will be a changing of the guard within the Syracuse Fire Department next month as the current chief and deputy chief retire. Tuesday, Mayor Stephanie Miner announced her appointments for the posts. Our Iris St. Meran introduces us to the city's soon to be chief.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The news that Fire Chief Mark McLees and Deputy Chief Charlie Duffy would retire came as a surprise to many, even their comrades. Paul Linnertz will now head the department. He's been with the department since March 1985 and has worked in many capacities from fire prevention to most recently Deputy Chief for Administration.
Linnertz said, "I'm excited. I'm honored. I'm humbled to be chosen to be chief of the fire department."
Kent Young was appointed First Deputy Fire Chief and has also been with the department since 1985.
In a press release, Mayor Miner said of both, "They are consummate professionals who bring strength of character to these leadership positions in challenging times. The Syracuse Fire Department will be well served with these men at the helm."
Linnertz knows the city is facing challenging economic times and many departments will have to do more with less. He says he'll tackle whatever changes may come.
"My plan will be to meet with the command staff of the fire department and to develop a plan that fits in with the budgetary constraints that the mayor provides," said Linnertz.
He doesn't plan on making any changes to the department and his main goal is simple.
"My main goal will be to keep this excellent fire department at status quo and to continue its rich history of being just a very good fire department," Linnertz added.
One he hopes the community will continue to be proud of.
Linnertz expects to start as chief at the end of March.