A New Year, a New Fire Chief

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It’s a new year and a new chief at the Tallahassee fire department. She has been on the job for a few months now. We take a brief look back and a long look ahead.

A whirlwind of activity is the way Tallahassee Fire Chief Cindy Dick describes the last three months since taking the top post. She's filled a number of vacancies.

Chief Cindy Dick says, "I've promoted two deputy chiefs, I've hired 14, promoted 9 lieutenants and 11 drivers."

And then there's the ratification of the professional firefighters union contract last month. It was in negotiations for nearly a year.

"That was what I started on immediately when I got here; a lot of people had done a lot of work towards that end and we were able to ratify that contract pretty quickly."

Now the chief says it's time to turn to the future.

"We're going to evaluate the services we're providing now, make sure we're providing the absolute best service we can and always look for ways to improve."

Some improvements are already underway. The department's HAZMAT team expanded with more in-depth training and a new urban search and rescue team just completed its training.

LT Dennis Roberts with the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "We're providing services we've never provided before, so it's an exciting time for the department."

The whirlwind won't slow down anytime soon. There are still about a dozen vacancies to fill and the chief will have to draw up a strategic plan deciding on the direction the department will take during the next three to five years.