MAYOR HARP ADMINISTERS OATH OF OFFICE TO CITY’S NEW FIRE CHIEF, ALLYN R. WRIGHT
(7/23/2014) New Haven — Mayor Toni Harp today swore in New Haven Fire Department’s new Fire Chief at a formal City Hall ceremony. The Mayor honored Chief Wright for his dedication and service to the Department before administering the oath of office. Former State Supreme Court Justice Lubbie Harper and Dr. Henry C. Lee also spoke at the event to honor Chief Wright. The hour long ceremony featured a performance from the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes and Drum band, as well as remarks from Wright.
The Mayor emphasized in her opening remarks the commitment displayed by the city’s new chief and the significant responsibilities he now holds in protecting New Haven residents.
“Chief Wright’s career embodies public service in the pursuit of public safety— with complete dedication to the Fire Department of the city of New Haven,” Mayor Harp said. “His promotion today is hard earned, well deserved and worth celebrating.”
The Mayor continued, “the Fire Chief must be an incident commander, budget negotiator, and community outreach specialist…New Haven’s new Fire Chief is all these things, has all these skills, and stands ready to deploy them to our benefit.”
Wright was raised in the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven. He first joined the Department in 1975, rising through that ranks before serving as Assistant Chief from 1998-2000. Wright then worked in the private sector before returning to the department in March of this year; he has since been serving as the active Chief following the departure of former Fire Chief Michael Grant— a move designed to foster a smooth leadership transition.
Wright highlighted in his speech a new way forward for the department: stressing the need for internal unity and community engagement.
“I have very little patience for office politics, rival factions, or cliques,” Chief Wright said. “Together we will achieve great things.”
Wright also outlined his plans to modernize the department, with renovations to the city’s 10 firehouses and new environmental initiatives to improve environmental sustainability.
Wednesday’s ceremony also marked the first day of academy training for 45 new fire department recruits; this class boasts increased diversity and a significant number of New Haven residents. The new Chief addressed the importance of recruiting to address ongoing issues of understaffing.
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