Karen Brack named City of Charleston fire chief

Picture of Chief Karen Brack provided by the City of Charleston.
Picture of Chief Karen Brack provided by the City of Charleston.
Pictured: City of Charleston Fire Chief Karen Brack
Pictured: City of Charleston Fire Chief Karen Brack

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. has selected a new fire chief for the City Of Charleston Fire Department.

Karen Brack, the now former deputy chief of operations in the Eugene Fire Department in Oregon, was named fire chief for the City of Charleston Fire Department by Mayor Riley during a conference at City Hall Friday afternoon.

"It is a great honor to be selected as Chief of the City of Charleston Fire Department.  Charleston is well known as a wonderful city and I have been very impressed with its strong fire service team," Brack said in a statement released on Friday," I am committed to continuing the record of progress set by Chief Carr and continued by Chief Finley.  I am eager to begin leading the exceptional men and women of the City of Charleston Fire Department as we work together to make this great department even better and make the citizens of Charleston even safer."

Mayor Riley said 61 people applied for the position and was narrowed down to four candidates with Brack being the only female.

If the appointment is approved by city council, Brack, who brings 30 years of experience with her, will take office around Aug. 1.

"Chief Brack's experience is extraordinary," Mayor Riley said."She brings talents that will be of great benefit to the fire department of the City of Charleston. I am confident that I have found the very best person available in America to become the chief of our great fire department in Charleston."

A native of Savannah, Brack began her career in the fire service with the Fulton County, Georgia Fire Department in 1982 and became a battalion chief in 2001.  In 2007, she was selected to become Deputy Chief in Eugene, Oregon.  In 2010, she assumed responsibility for the neighboring Springfield, Oregon Fire and Life Safety Department.

Brack will be taking over the Charleston fire chief position from interim Chief Franklin Finley Jr. who took over the position from former Chief Thomas Carr. Carr retired last year after complications from his Parkinson's disease diagnosis.

Brack will take over a department that is in the middle of an accreditation process, and will be responsible for leading fire crews on the peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and Daniel Island.

City officials say Brack will earn $137,000 a year, the same salary as Chief Carr.

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