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Pat Connor Promoted to Fire Chief

Here is a reprint of the article from the Newark Advocate:

NEWARK – Mayor Jeff Hall has appointed former Assistant Chief Patrick Connor to become the city’s 12th fire chief since Newark started its fire division in 1869.

“I am humbled. I’m excited,” Connor said after his swearing-in ceremony Monday night in Council Chambers. “Honestly, I have a lot of emotions running through me right now. It’s a great city.”

Connor, 42, of St. Louisville, was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, and their children — Bryson, 20; Chase, 17; and Regan, 11 — while Hall issued the oath of office.

Connor had been serving as interim chief since then-Chief Jack Stickradt retired in October.

He has worked in the Newark Division of Fire since 1993 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2004, captain in 2007 and assistant chief in 2012. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1991 to 1999.

“It shouldn’t be all about me,” Connor said. “The firefighters are the ones doing all the work out on the street every day. I’m thankful to be able to represent them.”

“We wish him well and look forward to working with him, working to solve the issues we face in the fire department,” said firefighter David McElfresh, president of the local firefighters union.

Hall said he is pleased to have Connor in his new role.

“Pat brings great knowledge, tremendous people skills, a strong drive and forward thinking,” Hall said.

Connor’s appointment opens up other opportunities for advancement within the department, Safety Director Bill Spurgeon said. The city will next appoint an assistant chief, captain and lieutenant as replacements move up and their positions become vacant.

Newark’s Civil Service Commission must now certify the list of eligible candidates for the assistant chief’s slot after the recent test for that post, said Mike Buskirk, the city’s human resources director.

jwilliams6@newarkadvocate.com

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