DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan has appointed Chuck Simms as Detroit’s interim fire commissioner.
Simms has worked inside the fire department for 35 years, most recently as second deputy commissioner.
Simms steps into the position as former commissioner Eric Jones departs. Jones’ last day was Jan. 14, he served as fire commissioner from October 2015.
Read: Detroit Fire Department to go in ‘new direction’ as Commissioner Eric Jones departs
Simms became a Detroit firefighter when he was 19 years old. He’s 54 years old now.
“I want to focus on addressing the morale as well as uplifting and celebrating our first responders,” Simms said.
Duggan said he wanted department leadership to be more visible in firehouses.
“I was looking for a commissioner who really was a career firefighter who would have the leadership team regularly in the firehouses talking to the men and women and being in touch with what would go on,” Duggan said.
The department has faced scandals and staffing issues.
“Morale is the biggest part that I wanna tackle first, just because like I said, because of the pandemic our firefighters and medics and the rest of the department -- they’ve gone through so much,” Simms said.