Baltimore City Fire Chief James Clack to resign

James Clack Baltimore City Fire Chief James Clack to resignBaltimore City Fire Chief James Clack is stepping down.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Friday that Clack would resign on July 26th.

Clack took over the position when Chief William Goodwin resigned from the post back in 2008.

Clack spent twenty years with the Minneapolis Fire Department before taking the job in Baltimore.

The city will now begin a search for a replacement.

Here’s the official word from the Mayor’s Office Clack’s resignation:

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that Baltimore Fire Department Chief James S. Clack will step down, effective July 26, 2013. Chief Clack came to Baltimore after more than two decades of service in the Minneapolis Fire Department. He plans to return to Minnesota to spend more time with his family. Under his leadership, the department improved public safety, reducing fire deaths to the lowest level on record. Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced that Assistant Chief Jeffrey R. Segal will serve as Acting Fire Chief, pending a search for a permanent replacement.

“Chief Clack worked successfully to increase our focus on the safety of residents and fire personnel,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “In the last three years, as the city faced significant budget challenges, we reduced fire deaths to an all-time low, improved fire response times, and increased citizens’ access to free smoke alarms. Chief Clack’s commitment to improving the overall operations of the department has prepared us for further achievement in the coming years.”

“It has been an honor to serve with the men and women of the Baltimore City Fire Department,” said Chief Clack. “In Baltimore, I had an opportunity to lead the most professional and courageous fire department in the United States. Under pressures from Mother Nature and the global economy, we stood strong, acted with integrity, and built on the legacy of this great urban fire department. I want to especially thank Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her outstanding leadership and her continued commitment to improving public safety in Baltimore. ”

Chief Clack spent the first 22 years of his career in the Minneapolis Fire Department, where he started as a firefighter, rising through the ranks to become chief in 2007. During his tenure in Baltimore, Clack focused on identifying ways to reduce the number of fatal fires throughout Baltimore. In 2010, the city passed legislation to require installation of sprinkler systems in all newly constructed one- and two-family homes. He also secured federal and private funding to support the installation of smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries in homes at no cost to the resident.

Acting Chief Segal is a native of Baltimore. He joined the Fire Department in 1987 as a firefighter. He advanced through the ranks to become a Pump Operator, Captain, Battalion Chief, Battalion Commander, Division Chief and Deputy Chief. In 2011 he was appointed to Assistant Chief of Operations. Segal earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the Science of Management from Johns Hopkins University, and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.

 Baltimore City Fire Chief James Clack to resign

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