SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Six candidates have been named as finalists for Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department.
According to a statement released by Mayor Ollie Tyler's office, the list was narrowed this week to include Michael Cook, Kerry Foster, Louis Johnson, Ronald Jones, Fredrick Sanders and Edwin Scott Wolverton.
There were 36 candidates who applied for the position. Of those, 35 were approved to move further in the process. Only 27 candidates took the required Fire Chief Exam to qualify as chief.
Former Fire Chief Ronald Craig Mulford, was fired in late September after being on paid administrative leave since June, when he was indicted on five counts of malfeasance in office for allegedly violating administrative policies while handling complaints about several firefighters.
An internal audit was ordered to find out if Mulford violated departmental policies. Details of the findings were never released, but Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover announced his termination 3 weeks later.
Mulford announced his intention to appeal for reinstatement to the job, but the ongoing criminal case complicates the civil service matter.
All 6 of the finalists announced Wednesday are current or retired Shreveport Fire Department employees.
Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief Fred Sanders, Chief of Special Operations and Safety Ed Wolverton and Chief of Training Louis Johnson have all applied for the position before.
"We are moving forward with due diligence in the selection of the City of Shreveport's next fire chief" Tyler said in the statement. "I have narrowed the original group of highly qualified and skilled applicants down to those finalists I believe possess the greatest ability to move the organization forward in a positive direction and ensure its future success."
The minimum State Civil Service requirements for qualifying are:
• High school diploma
• 10 years of service of full-time service with full-time, paid fire department
• Three years on the fire line
• At least a 75 percent pass rate on the Fire Chief Exam
Mayor Tyler will interview finalists to discuss their vision for the organization and assess who will be best for this key leadership position. A decision is expected by the end of February.
"This appointment is of critical importance in ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens and visitors," said Mayor Tyler. "We will ensure we have the right person for the job."
More on the finalists:
Michael A. Cook
Current title: (Retired) Battalion Chief
Years of service: 30
Education: bachelor in organizational management; associate in nursing; and associated in EMT paramedic.
Current title: Assistant Chief/Shift Commander
Years of service: 37 years
Education: bachelor in organizational management; associate in fire science and associate in safety and hazardous materials technology.
Current title: Chief of Training/Academy Director
Years of Service: 32
Education: bachelor in organization management and associate in fire service management.
Current title: Deputy Fire Chief
Years of service: 38
Education: bachelor in organizational management; associate in business marketing; and associate of business management.
Current title: Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief
Years of service: 27
Education: bachelor in business administration, concentration organization management and associate of science in general studies.
Current title: Chief of Special Operations and Safety - Fire Administration
Years of service: 22
Education: bachelor of organizational management; associate of in EMT-paramedic