New Springfield fire chief takes oath: ‘A lot is on the plate’

Springfield city commissioners approved the appointment of and held the swearing in for Jacob King as the new chief of the Springfield Fire Rescue Division at their Tuesday meeting evening.

“It is my great honor to accept this position as fire chief. I cannot express to you how much this means to me,” King told city officials, fellow firefighters, community and family members in attendance at the ceremony. “I promise to do everything in my power to exceed your expectations.”

He expressed appreciation to Springfield staff who he praised for working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the city and members of the community.

“Your dedication and professionalism inspires me, and I really look forward to working along side you each and every day,” he said.

King joins the department at a time of significant change, as the city is engaged in the construction of four new fire stations that mark a major investment in upgraded facilities and technology to support fire and rescue efforts.

The chief said he is excited to learn everything he can about the city and to evaluate the processes currently being used by the department.

King most recently led the Bethel Twp. Fire Department in Clark County, which followed a military career and retirement from the post of chief with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Fire Department.

King said he brings a deep sense of responsibility and obligation to his new role.

“I am committed to providing our community with the highest level of service and protection. To achieve this, I promise to work tirelessly to ensure that we have the latest technology and training methods available to our members. I will encourage team work and collaboration amongst our members and with other city agencies. I am also available to listen to any questions or concerns and to suggestions for how we may do things better.”

In addition to overseeing the construction and opening of new fire houses, King faces challenges in recruitment and retention, staff development, turnover and community relations.

“A lot is on the plate,” King acknowledged. “A lot is happening, and I am really charged to join this organization as it is definitely moving forward. The best part is we can all move forward together.”

King comes to the city emergency and rescue team with extensive experience. He was named to the post following the retirement of Chief Brian Miller, who served with the Springfield Fire Rescue Division for 31 years.

Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck introduced the new chief, noting he earned the top spot out of a highly competitive field of 20 applicants nationally.

“At the end of the day, Springfield deserves the best, and the best candidate rose to the top and earned this position,” Heck said.

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