Cincinnati's New Chief is First Outside Ranks

CINCINNATI --

Cincinnati's new fire chief takes over the job Friday.

The new chief, Richard Braun, a retired assistant chief from Columbus, also made history, as he took over the position from outgoing fire chief Robert Wright.

Braun is the first chief to be hired outside of the Cincinnati Fire Department in its 157-year history.

Coming into this job, the new chief will be met with some big tasks as budget problems continue and the rolling brownouts of some fire companies keep residents on edge.

City Manager Milton Dohoney wants him to do a full organizational review and determine if the department is structured properly.

Braun said he intends to engage people as opposed to issuing edicts from on high and said he wants be more visible, dropping in at firehouses and getting to know the rank-and-file.

Among the stated goals of both the new chief and manager was to attract more women into firefighting service.

Since getting the job, Braun has also raised some eyebrows since he's a retiring assistant chief, which means he will be receiving benefits from the Ohio Police and Fire pension plan in addition to his salary.

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