Top Candidates Named for Charleston Chief

The list of candidates to take the helm of the Charleston Fire Department has been whittled down to seven.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The list of candidates to take the helm of the Charleston Fire Department has been whittled down to seven.

Mayor Joe Riley, who announced the final picks late Friday, will give Charleston firefighters and citizens the opportunity to meet and quiz the top candidates.

The candidates for Fire Chief of the City Charleston are:

Chief Richard Brannon

  • Deputy Chief of Operations, Mobile (AL) Fire-Rescue Department
  • 30 years experience in the fire service, including the last 3 years as Deputy
  • B.P.S. Memphis State University
  • B.A. University of South Alabama
  • Executive Fire Officer (NFA)
  • Chief Fire Officer (CFOD)
  • LCDR US Coast Guard Reserve

 

Thomas Carr

  • Chief, Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Service
  • 30 years experience in the fire service, including the last 4 years as Chief
  • Fellowship, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • M.S. University of Maryland
  • B.A. National University
  • Certified Public Manager, George Washington University

 

Larry Collins

  • Director and Chief (Ret.), Dayton (OH) Fire Department
  • 30 years experience in the fire service, including 11 years as Chief
  • B.S. LaSalle University
  • ATS, Fire-Rescue Administration, Sinclair Community College
  • Management Excellence Program, University of Virginia

 

Jamie Geer

  • Chief, Clearwater (FL) Fire and Rescue
  • 33 years experience in the fire service, including the last 4 as Chief
  • M.P.A., State University of West Georgia
  • B.S. Shorter College
  • A.P.S. Midlands Technical College
  • Chief Fire Officer (CFOD)

 

William Goodwin

  • Chief (Ret.) Baltimore (MD) Fire Department
  • 33 years in fire service, including 8 as Chief
  • Fellowship, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • M.S. Johns Hopkins University
  • B.S. University of Maryland

 

John Rukavina

  • Director of Public Safety (Ret.), Wake County (NC)
  • 36 years in fire service, including 14 as Chief and 8 as Director of Public Safety
  • J.D. University of Minnesota
  • FEMA Fellow and National Leadership Initiative, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Executive Fire Officer (NFA)
  • Chief Fire Officer (CFOD)

 

Thomas Solberg

  • Chief, Lee's Summit (MO) Fire Department
  • 30 years in the fire service, including the last 8 years as Chief
  • M.S. Baker university
  • B.A. Baker University
  • A.A. Baker University
  • Chief Fire Officer (CFOD)

 

Riley did not say when the final decision will be made, said Barbara Vaughn, city spokesperson.

The city received 141 applications from people to fill the position vacated by Chief Rusty Thomas, who stepped down on the eve of the release of a controversial investigative report of his handling of a blaze that claimed nine firefighters.

Before his departure, Thomas instituted a number of changes in the department as recommended by a panel of fire service experts appointed by Riley to examine the operation.

The panel was critical of the way the June 18, 2007, fire at the furniture store was handled, citing numerous failures including training and operations.

The next phase of the panel's work is to develop an action and implementation plan. However, they are waiting until the new chief is selected.

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