The Politics of Firefighting Redux

March 31, 2011 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Fire Chief Niles Ford has resigned with a departure date of April 29. Great.

I get a little shaky whenever major changes to LFR are on the agenda. Firefighting, for reasons I still cannot comprehend, is so blasted political. Most folks’ explanations boil down to “it has always been that way”. That’s less of an explanation than it is a description. To add to the fun this time around, Ford’s departure comes in the midst of an election. Read: more politics. Wheee.

One of the best things about Niles Ford is that I don’t know very much about him. That means he didn’t make headlines very often, which means we made it four years with few fire department-related political shenanigans. (Contrast that with the era before his arrival.) More of that, please. I’m not sure if that outcome is best achieved by hiring from the inside or the outside. Generally I prefer advancement from within—why train good people only to chase them away because they can’t have the top jobs?—but again: politics.

Do any of you have strong opinions on Ford or his successor?

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The Comments

Jen March 31, 2011 at 1:28pm

Mr. Ford spoke at a funeral I attended in November, for a woman who worked in the fire department’s administrative office.  He had taken the time to get to know her (even though she hadn’t worked there all that long), and spoke so eloquently and thoughtfully about her.  I will forever be a fan of his because of that.  It was very touching.

Gene March 31, 2011 at 1:42pm

I only met him once, he’s a nice dude.

Jeff March 31, 2011 at 7:22pm

I’ve never met him, but my wife did and was impressed.  One thing I’m unsure of ... was the previous chief a “local” hire?

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