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UPDATED: Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Jim Clack resigns. Read his message to the department.

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From The Baltimore Sun’s Twitter feed:

This was followed by a Tweet 16 minutes later by Chief Clack:

Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun:

Clack, 52, will serve through the end of July, when he and his wife Rose will move back to their native Minnesota, he said. In an interview, he cited no other reason for his departure.

“Her parents are getting up in age, so we want to spend time with them and just get back to home,” Clack said. He and his wife made the decision following a visit to her parents last month, he said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has appointed Jeffrey Segal, the department’s current assistant chief of operations, as an interim replacement for Clack while a more exhaustive search is conducted to find Clack’s permanent replacement.

Below is the message Chief Clack sent out to the department today:

Fire Department Announcement

June 7, 2013

 

Today I am announcing my resignation as Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD).  My last day as your Fire Chief will be July 26, 2013. Mayor Rawlings-Blake has named Assistant Chief Jeff Segal to serve as Acting Fire Chief while the search for a permanent Chief is underway. Chief Segal is an outstanding fire service leader and I know you will give him the same support and prayers that I have been blessed with over the past five years.

I want each of you to know that it has been a great honor to serve with you protecting the people of Baltimore. Mayor Rawlings-Blake has given me a tremendous opportunity to lead the best fire department in the United States and for that I will be eternally grateful. In the coming weeks, before my family and I return to Minnesota, I hope to have an opportunity to speak to you in person to express my gratitude for your support, commitment, and professionalism.

Mother Nature and the global economy have both tested our resolve as first responders, but together we stood strong, acted with integrity, and built on the 150+ year legacy of this urban fire department. Our ability to respond effectively has been tested by a number of emergency events that hit the Baltimore region over the past five years. These include the blizzards of 2010, hurricanes, floods, the derecho, tornadoes, and even an earthquake. I am proud to say that in each instance, the Baltimore Fire Department showed why we are the best in country at keeping people safe.

In 2012, twelve people lost their lives in our city as the result of fires, which are the fewest fire deaths on record in Baltimore City.  This accomplishment is entirely due to the efforts of the men and women who work for the BCFD. I know each of you will continue to work toward our goal of experiencing a year where we can claim zero fire deaths in Baltimore.

Keep up the great work and stay safe. My hopes and prayers are with each of you.

Respectfully: 

James S. Clack

Chief of Fire Department

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