Ott Trims List From 38 to Eight...Err, Seven

Ott names finalists for Austin Fire Dept. chief

Ott Trims List From 38 to Eight...Err, Seven

On Friday, City Manager Marc Ott announced the eight finalists for the top job at the Austin Fire Dept., five months after former Chief J.J. Adame resigned the job. (Adame had been in the hot seat since March, when he received a less than stellar job performance evaluation. He came to Austin from Corpus Christi in 2006.)

The list of eight – honed from 38 total applicants, according to – quickly became a list of seven after Longview Chief Michael Pruitt withdrew his name.

The remaining finalists come from across the country, with just two plucked from Texas departments: Randy Bruegman, Fresno, Calif., chief; Jimmie R. Bryant, chief in Monroe, La.; Niles Ford, chief of Lincoln, Neb., Fire and Rescue; Richard Garcia, deputy chief of Fire and Rescue support services in Las Vegas; Noel Horan, assistant chief in San Antonio; Rhoda Mae Kerr, chief of the Little Rock, Ark., FD; and Raul Reyes, chief of the Greenville, Texas FD.

The remaining candidates will be interviewed by local officials and a group of City Hall-selected community members, and then will host Austin city officials who will visit them on their home turf for a little look-see – a process not unlike that which last year brought us our new top cop, APD Chief Art Acevedo.

Publicly, at least, Ott seems rosy about process thus far, and the challenge facing the finalists: "The Austin Fire Department has proven itself one of the leading departments in the nation," he said in a press release. "These candidates know that they will be expected to uphold its traditions of fire safety effectiveness and community responsiveness."

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Fire Department, City Services, City Manager, Marc Ott, AFD

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