Cochran Candid About Atlanta Return

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- USFA Administrator Kelvin Cochran is excited about his return to Atlanta as the city's new fire chief.

Cochran previously served as head of the department for 20 months before he was appointed to his current position by the Obama administration last year.

Last night while speaking with, Cochran was still cautious about speaking until he learned that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed had released an official statement.

He said he missed handling the issues of a local fire department, and the day-to-day responsibilities that it entails and was candid about his return to his former job, saying he enjoys working for local government.

Addressing the NFPA conference attendees hours earlier, he said the most memorable event in his life and career was being sworn in as US Fire Administrator last summer at the IAFC conference.

While he is eager to go back to Atlanta to lead the department again, he said he will miss the people he worked with the past nine months.

"They are very dedicated," he said. "They are some of the most wonderful people I've ever worked with."

Cochran also said he is confident that they will carry on the plans he laid out when he arrived.

"They were totally involved in the goals to put 'fire' back in the U.S. Fire Administration."

During his address to the NFPA on Tuesday morning, he said his staff stands ready to help in any way it can.

One USFA staff member, who asked that his name not be used, said it was a sad day.

"Kelvin brought so much enthusiasm, an energy we've been lacking," he said. "He had so many wonderful ideas especially in the area of prevention. I wish him well, but we're all disappointed."