Columbus: The Columbus Police and Fire Commission has now voted twice to name a new fire chief. President Ed Schellin says the second vote was Thursday morning. "(It) was again unanimous in favor of Christopher Lyons being appointed the position of Chief of the Fire Department here in Columbus."
The first vote was last Thursday, and after fire inspector Chris Lyons was chosen many firefighters threatened a walk-out.
They were angry because Deputy Chief Bill Kluetzman did not get the job, despite being acting chief since October of 2005.
Dennis Langfeldt is a former firefighter and says many current firefighters feel the same as him. "I've served with those guys and you couldn't ask for a better chierf than Bill Kluetzman. He came from the bottom and worked his way up and to slide someone in there that is unknown to the rest of the men to my knowledge is out of the question."
Schellin says the city re-defined the job description in the last year. "We understand that in the past the person has always ascended to the chief position working his way up through the ranks and this is a paradigm shift for them and we understand it is going to be difficult for some people to accept change."
Kluetzman was not available for comment Thursday.
A Lt. with the fire department told us over the phone that while many of the 40 firefighters were disappointed Kluetzman did not get the job they are ready to move forward and support Lyons.
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