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New city fire chief a risky choice [Letter]

There certainly seems to be a measure of risk involved in the announcement that Niles Ford has been named the new Baltimore City fire chief ("Rawlings-Blake picks former Nebraska fire chief to lead Baltimore's department," Dec. 28).

This selection will certainly not sit well with some, as two candidates with the Baltimore City Fire Department were overlooked for the position. Mr. Ford's last employment as city manager in Chamblee, Ga., ended in a very inauspicious manner. There are many questions regarding his capability to lead a department as large as the one here.

The largest fire department Mr. Ford headed, in Lincoln, Neb., employed a staff of 300, which is less than one-fifth the number of firefighters in Baltimore City.

The worst case scenario would be that the city lost $14,000 in its search for a new fire captain who faces challenges as daunting as this. Only time will tell if this selection by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is appropriate for the city.

Mr. Ford will most certainly be on the "hot seat" for quite a while after accepting his new position here.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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