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City looking to replace Fire Chief
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 by Austin Monitor
Austin Fire Chief J.J. Adame, the first Hispanic leader in the department’s 167-year history, is apparently on his way out. KVUE News reported that there was an emergency meeting at City Hall last night to make decisions about the leadership of the Fire Department. News 8
A formal announcement is expected today, and an interim chief named to run the department until a replacement can be hired. Adame would be the first department manager to be replaced by
However, assistant City Manager Michael McDonald wrote in a memo to Chief Adame at the time of his review in March: “There have been many instances where I think you have deferred to your subordinates in situations where you needed to take a lead role as chief.” The memo called for Adame to demonstrate “leadership, which should entail less dependence and deferral to your Chief of Staff.” He was also instructed Adame to remedy problems with the department’s payroll system.
In his last public appearance, Adame addressed the Public Safety Task Force on Monday regarding staffing levels within the department. Specifically, he updated the panel on a project to staff all engines in the department with four firefighters. He reported that 49 of the department’s 54 units had been converted, and five units – 1 quint (combination engine and ladder truck) and four ladder trucks were still staffed with only three firefighters.
Adame completed his report, but seemed not prepared for several of the questions put to him by the task force members. When he was asked about why the three-man quint unit was located in a far south fire station, Adame seemed stumped and did not have a clear answer to the question. He also answered several other questions saying he did not have the information, and would provide it later.
Adame, 58, has been
According to the Fire Department’s website, Adame has held statewide appointments in the industry as a member of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as well as the Governor’s Homeland Security Council and First Responder Advisory Committee. Chief Adame is also a military veteran, including tours of duty with the United States Navy in both
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