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MFR Chief Announces Retirement
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Mobile's fire chief is making room for new leadership. Stephen Dean announced Wednesday he will retire as chief.
Dean has been fire chief for 14 years, and has worked nearly 40 years with the department.
Chief Dean said his retirement had nothing to do with the new administration. He said this was 100 percent his decision, after all he's served the Mobile Fire Department for nearly four decades.
It was an emotional announcement. The chief's family and a few fellow firefighters were there to show him support through kind words and hugs.
Under Chief Dean's watch, the department has accomplished a lot of firsts, with the purchase of the first new Fire Boat and Technical Rescue Truck.
The Mobile Fire Department under Dean's leadership developed the state's only Urban Search and Rescue Team that has received more than $4 million in grants from the state.
"Thirty-nine years is a long long time and ya know, the good lord walked on this earth for 33 and I got to be a part of this job for 39, so I've enjoyed every minute of it. I would not change one thing," said Dean.
Dean's last day is October 31.
Dean's retirement letters:
It is with much regret that today I announce my retirement from the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department, effective November 2, 2013. It has been an honor to serve the City of Mobile, its citizens, countless mayors and City Council members, honorably and dutifully in building a Fire Department that now is fully staffed and revered as a stellar example in firefighting nationally.
As Mayor-elect Stimpson prepares to take office, I have chosen to step aside in order to make room for new leadership team.
I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish during my tenure as chief. Some of those achievements accomplished under my leadership include:
The accreditation of the Mobile Fire Rescue Department - the first and only Department in the state of Alabama to achieve this coveted status;
The construction of two new fire stations, which constituted the first additional stations and resources added to this community in over 50 years;
The department received over 12.8 million in Fire Act grants, which provided a complete replacement of all SCBA, EKG monitors, and turnout gear. These grants allowed new equipment and needed programs which were never available to Fire Department employees - such as exhaust filters to capture carcinogens and diesel exhaust in an effort to protect employees' health. We were able to provide ear protection in all truck providing hearing loss protection for employees;
The reestablishment of the departments Wellness Program;
The addition of MDTs to all apparatus which enabled the department to gain greater response reliability for call for service;
The purchase of the first task designed hazardous materials truck in the history of this city;
In 2003, I had the privilege of being on a team of Mobile Fire Rescue Department Fire Officers who traveled to California to research that states mutual aid system, gather facts, come back, and assist our state in establishing Alabamas Mutual Aid System for then governor, Bob Riley. Under that program, the MFRD developed the states only Urban Search and Rescue Team, receiving over 4 million in grants from the State;
The purchase of the first new fire boat and technical rescue truck;
The ambulance remount program was initiated;
The acquisition of a new engine and ladder trucks;
Renovated nine fire stations within a two year period;
Obtained the highest staffing level in the Departments history, becoming the most diverse in its history, promoting the first minority to the rank above captain, and the first female chief;
Obtained the lowest Insurance Service Organization rating in the history of the city, where Mobile is approaching a point where it can be even further reduced;
Our current EMS Billing Office is a model that agencies within the state and region seek to emulate;
Started the Heros Helping Heros T Shirt program that has raised over $50K local Cancer Research.
In closing, I have had the opportunity to represent this Department and the City of Mobile in leadership position with the Southeast Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chief, and currently as second vice present of the International Association of Fire Chief and treasurer of the Mobile County Communication District. Without the support of the mayor and my staff these accomplishments could not be achieved. All these achievements have allowed our Department to stay on the leading edge of new trends in the fire service, and to be directly involved in the development of programs that affect fire service worldwide.
I am very proud of my accomplishment throughout my 39-year career serving the people of Mobile. I made and promise and feel assured that I uphold the Oath taken all those years ago. I have no regrets. I have always served in the best interest of the community, my home that I love. I made a commitment when I was appointed chief that I would not let politics or my own career goals come before what was right for my community. Today is no different. Today, I must put my love of this job and my own disappointment aside to allow the department to continue thriving under new leadership.
I want thank all the men and women of the Mobile Fire Rescue Department, whom I have had the privilege to serve with these many years. They are truly an exceptional group of individuals
I want to thank my family for their support during my time with the Department right down to the end. The fact that that I am in no way surprised by how supportive they have been of my decision here today, does not make me any less grateful for their unyielding support.
Lastly, Id like to thank the people of Mobile for your supporting me and the Department. There are no words to express what an honor and pleasure it has been for a local boy like me to fulfill his life-long dream to serve and protect the good people of his hometown. I can step aside today with a happy heart, because I know that somewhere out there, a little boy or girl is watching a fire truck go by and thinking. One daythat will be me. And I know that Mobile will give them the sense of community, education and opportunity to lift them up and fulfill their dreamjust as it did me.
Thank you and stay safe.
Stephen A. Dean, BS, MPA, EFO, CFO
Fire Chief City of Mobile