The pool of candidates for the Fort Worth fire chief position has been narrowed to two: Columbus, Ohio, Fire Assistant Chief Jim Davis and District of Columbia Deputy Chief John Donnelly.
Both candidates will return to Fort Worth in early July for final interviews. City Manager David Cooke will make the final hiring decision.
Fire Chief Patrick Vasquez and Assistant City Manager Valerie R. Washington traveled to Columbus and Washington, D.C., to visit onsite with both candidates and to learn see their leadership styles in action. IAFF Local 440 President Michael Glynn also made the trip.
Here are some quotes from the two finalists:
Columbus, Ohio, Fire Assistant Chief Jim Davis
“As the fire chief in Fort Worth, I want to make a strong effort to build off the foundation that exists within the Fort Worth Fire Department. I want to be an ambassador and cheerleader to the great work these firefighters do every day in this community. I hope to create a future within the fire department that respects the past yet embraces the future. That future involves becoming a learning organization that develops staff through education and training, executes at the highest level to serve the residents and guests of Fort Worth and conducts itself with professionalism and positive labor-management relationships.”
“In my short experiences, Fort Worth has a small-town feel within a large, rapidly growing community. The growth offers challenges that can turn into great opportunities for a fire chief to lead the organization into the future by developing strong community partnerships and seeking new opportunities to serve the community.”
District of Columbia Deputy Chief John Donnelly
“As the fire chief, I hope to be a leader and manager who earns the respect of the community, city managers and rank-and-file members of the Fort Worth Fire Department. I will work hard to be a visible leader who emphasizes communications within the Fire Department and community. As the chief, I want to educate the community about the needs of the fire department and to provide feedback to the department from the community. Through this engagement process, I will lead the Fire Department in a strategic planning process to be sure the department is prepared to meet the present and future needs of the Fort Worth community.”
“There are many fire chief jobs open throughout the country. In my opinion, the Fort Worth fire chief’s job is a unique opportunity. The new Fort Worth fire chief will inherit a large and successful fire department that is growing and is well-positioned to be successful in the future. I would like to have the opportunity to take the department to the next level. I believe the history and traditions of the department and the commitment of the members I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with will allow us to accomplish that together.”
Six candidates for the position visited Fort Worth in late April. The position became available when Chief Rudy Jackson retired earlier this year after more than 10 years in the position.
“Fort Worth is a great city that deserves great leadership to join the ranks and guide our Fire Department,” Washington said. “We want to thank all of the residents, employees and stakeholders who were engaged and shared their thoughts and visions during this hiring process.”
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