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I received a note today from the IAFF informing us that Tom Carr, currently the fire chief in Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue, has accepted the job as fire chief for the city of Charleston, South Carolina. I'd like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the city of Charleston, the Charleston firefighters, and to my good friend, Tom Carr. Tom has been and continues to be a firefighter's firefighter and will do a great job as the chief in Charleston. As it is with any new chief coming from the outside, Tom will need a little time to get familiar with his new city and assignment.

I know that the firefighters in Charleston will give Tom a world-class reception and the dignified respect that they are so well known for. Tom Carr will bring to the city of Charleston his unbridled passion, his deep and extensive knowledge of the American fire service, and a strong and unwavering sense of duty.

Many will hope that Tom will make sudden and abrupt changes, but Tom knows that sudden and abrupt are rarely meaningful and more often than not simply destructive. Tom, together with the brave and dedicated men and women of the Charleston (SC) Fire Department, will determine how to improve on the 95 percent of work that is currently being done to the highest standards and raise it to 99 or 100 percent.

By working together with everyone concerned with the safety and welfare of the citizens and firefighters of Charleston, a city of unparalleled beauty and deep historical and social significance to America, Tom will work with deliberate purpose to affect change on the 5 percent that truly requires change. It's not easy determining what those things are, and that is why selecting a man like Tom Carr was so important to Charleston.

On behalf of Fire Engineering, myself and thousands of other firefighters who have grown to know, love, and respect Tom Carr, our deepest congratulations and best wishes to your future. We all look forward to visiting with you soon in your new offices in Charleston, South Carolina.

posted by Bobby Halton
9/29/2008 03:17:00 PM

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Blogger Robert J. Schappert III said...

Good morning fellow colleagues:

I would like to weigh in on the appointment of Tommy Carr to the Charleston Fire Chief's position. I am passing on my comments to the men and women of the Charleston Fire Department, to give you a "heads up" on one hell of a guy!

Tommy Carr is a fire chief's fire chief. They don't come any better believe me. I have known Tommy professionally for the 25 years I was with the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute and worked closely with him in the design, development, and content of a new rescue text for the fire service in Maryland.

In my opinion, Tommy Carr is the Brunicini of the east. His professionalism, command presence, mentoring ability, and organizational skills are enviable and revered on a national level. He will bring a new era in positive organizational and operational change in due time to the Charleston Fire Department. Whether you realize it or not, the Charleston Fire Department's status just climbed off the scales when news spread of his appointment.

The men and women of the Charleston Fire Department are in for pleasant surprises with his leadership style and interpersonal skills with the troops. He is a chief that looks out for his people and does not micro manage daily activities. He is a big fan of allowing his subordinate officers to be officers and leaders. He never passes up an opportunity to mentor those that need a little nudging in the right direction.

Your new fire chief is a five starr "keeper" folks. His management style is open door, visitations with the troops and officers, and engaging anyone that steps up to the plate with.. "what have you got new and exciting for the Charleston Fire Department today". Never fear bringing something to the table with Tommy Carr that will benefit the organization overall. He is an intent listener, does not like red tape, and is not afraid to make a decision based on information you provide.

No fire chief rides in on a white horse and certainly Tommy is no exception, however, if you relish working for a guy who will showcase his people and the organization he represents, promote training, specialty teams, and rescue response operations, and interacting with the NFPA, public at large, and community organizations...Tommy Carr is your guy! He knows the politics of leading a fire service organization and will work very hard to effect positive change that will promote the pride and prestige of the Charleston Fire Department.

You don't know it yet but Montgomery County's loss is going to be Charleston Fire Department's huge gain on the national scene. So sit back, listen attentively, watch for results, and support one dynamic individual! Good luck Tommy in your new career with are just what the doctor ordered my friend.

Robert J. Schappert III
Chief - Emergency Operations Center
US Department of Commerce

Wed Oct 01, 11:15:00 AM EDT  
Blogger John Buckman said...

Chief Tom Carr is the ultimate gentleman who is a GREAT Chief of the Fire Service. He will move methodically and quickly to gather input and suggestions from the rank and file. Make no mistakes Chief Tom Carr is a mover.

Wed Oct 01, 09:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger rridgeway said...

I have known Tommy Carr for over 30 years both personally and professionally, and Charleston could not have made a better choice. To my brother and sister Firefighters in Charleston, I would say to welcome him and to work with him, and he will take the department where it needs to go. To City Administration, I would say to just let him run the department, and to give him the level of support that he needs to do that without undue interference or politics. Charleston has hired a true class act as its new Fire Chief; now just support him and let him do his job. Best regards,
Robert L. Ridgeway

Sat Oct 04, 08:45:00 AM EDT  

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