The new chief said opening a fire station on the city's southeast side is one of his goals.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A 37-year-old city native will be sworn in Friday as the new fire chief.
The city's Civil Service Commission certified Wednesday the results of the fire chief's exam on which Ken Nussle earned the highest score.
Capt. Gary McBride and Steve Williams, who has been serving as interim chief since February, will be sworn in Friday as assistant fire chiefs.
Curtis King, Rick Yauger and Tom Walker will be sworn in as captains, and Ted Ray, Mark Venzeio and William Gadd will be sworn in as lieutenants.
Nussle, with the department for 14 years and a captain since January 1997, said opening a fire station on the southeast side is one of his biggest goals. That would be the fourth station open in the city.
"We haven't had a station there for 31 years," Nussle said. "The response time on the periphery can be as long as eight minutes. That's totally unacceptable."
He said he recognizes that the city is restricted by budgets.
Nussle also hopes to start an apparatus committee to evaluate equipment needs. One front-line fire engine dates to 1989 and Nussle said it's nearing the end of its useful life.
Establishing a city-operated emergency medical service also is something Nussle wants to explore.
He referred to a December 2000 house fire in which two firefighters were badly burned. It took 10 to 15 minutes for an EMS unit to arrive at the scene.
"If that doesn't indicate a need for EMS, I don't know what does," Nussle said.
Previous studies have suggested establishment of a city EMS service, but it's never been pursued.
Nussle said if a plan to annex property on the city's northeast side comes through, it may be necessary to open another fire station in that section of the city.
Nussle and his wife, Jayne, live in the city and have a daughter, Madeleine.
Nussle's move into the chief's slot follows more than a year with an interim chief at the fire department's helm. Williams was appointed to the interim slot in February, replacing interim chief James Nutt, who retired. Nutt, who had been an assistant chief, was appointed interim chief when Chief Jay Mulligan went on sick leave in May 2001.
Mulligan, who was named chief in January 1997, retired effective June 30.