Deputy Fire Chief Ray Driskell, 27-year veteran, set to be next Tulsa fire chief
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
5/02/12 at 7:17 AM
Deputy Fire Chief Ray Driskell will be named Wednesday as Tulsa's next fire chief, multiple sources have told the Tulsa World.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett is expected to make the announcement at a 1:30 p.m. Wednesday City Hall press conference.
Driskell, a 27-year veteran of the Fire Department, also has served as the fire marshal, assistant chief, district chief and chief of finance, in addition to his current post as deputy fire chief.
A release giving the details of the press conference says the new fire chief will assume the department's reign July 1 with the start of the new fiscal year.
Fire Chief Allen LaCroix, who landed the top job in 2002, officially will retire June 30 after 37 years of service. He has begun taking his accumulated vacation time.
Driskell, 48, in an April Tulsa World story that reported he was one of five internal candidates, said he felt he was the most qualified.
"I bring education and experience to the table," he said then, adding that he was in the process of completing the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program in Maryland.
The other internal candidates are Administrative Chief Jeremy Moore, Public Information Officer Stan May, District Chief Jim Long and District Chief Bill French.
Only after the internal review process was over could the mayor opt to look outside the department, which he apparently has decided not to do.
In the release issued about Wednesday's press conference, Bartlett praised LaCroix's service to the department and city.
LaCroix "has been an outstanding public servant and has seen this city through many historic events, including the 2007 ice storm, last year's record blizzards and the economic downturn when I first took office," Bartlett said.
LaCroix was instrumental in the reorganization of the Tulsa Fire Department, saving the jobs of 147 firefighters and ensuring that the level of service to citizens never changed, Bartlett said.
The mayor added, "Chief LaCroix's guidance, advice and experience will be missed at the city of Tulsa, and I am so very grateful for his service to this community."
LaCroix said that while he's looking forward to spending time with his family, he will miss those in the Fire Department's ranks.
"I would put the Tulsa Fire Department up against any fire department in the country," he said, "and spending time with the men and women of our department will be one of the things I miss most."
Original Print Headline: Sources: Driskell set to be fire chief
Brian Barber 918-581-8322
Ray Driskell: The Mayor is expected to name Driskell as his selection for Tulsa's next fire chief on Wednesday