Monroe's fire chief to switch to new city job - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Monroe's fire chief to switch to new city job

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MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Effective March 1, highly decorated almost 15-year Monroe Fire Chief Jimmie Bryant will retire after 32-years of fire service, to become the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the City of Monroe. A formal press conference was held Tuesday to announce the change.

Jimmie Bryant began his fire service career with the Shreveport Fire Department in 1981. Over the past three decades, he has served in positions ranging from EMS to Administration. Those include Firefighter, Fire Medic Driver, Fire Medic Officer, Senior Training Officer, Flight Paramedic, Agency Director, Interim Director of Homeland Security and Fire Chief.

Listed below are a few highlights achieved during the tenure of Monroe Fire Chief Bryant (1998-2013).

  • Initiated a comprehensive program which achieved a Class 1 ISO Rating in 2002, from Property Insurance Association of Louisiana; making Monroe, LA, one of only 60 out of 45,000 fire departments in the United States to have obtained this rating considered one of the highest designations in the industry. The Monroe Fire Department has retained the Class 1 rating twice since that time. Constructed a $4.3 million dollar Public Safety Center.


  • Development of the City of Monroe's Emergency Coordination Plan and Emergency Coordination Center.


  • Assisted with the passage of a dedicated city tax to enhance firefighter's salaries.


  • Implemented the departments' first Strategic Planning Committee to access the needs of the department by researching critical issues, trends and procedures in an effort to boost job performance and workplace morale.


  • Developed a plan to create the multi-agency Region 8 Emergency Response Urban Search and Rescue Team.


  • Instituted a free smoke detector program for Monroe residents, and a senior citizen food delivery program to help feed seniors and support the NELA Food Bank.


  • Established a firefighter certification and credential program designed to ensure competency of core subject matter and improve overall safety.


  • Successfully passed all yearly FAA Airport Inspections.


  • Constructed a fully functional state of the art fitness facility designed to enhance firefighters wellness and decrease injuries and workers comp claims.


  • Oversaw the construction of two new fire stations and renovations of all others. Secured more than $2 million dollars in federal grants for fire service improvements. Upgraded the departments radio system, placed computers in all fire stations and automatic external defibrillators in emergency units.


  • Named Louisiana Fire Chief of the Year (2010).


As he prepares to step down as Fire Chief, Bryant had this to say, "I want to thank former Mayor Abe Pierce for hiring me as Fire Chief. I want to thank Mayor Jamie Mayo for continuously supporting our vision and efforts to make the Monroe Fire Department one of the best in the country. I am eternally grateful for the support and encouragement that I've received from the citizens of this community. The city has allowed me to develop as a person and professional. I have developed relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Words can not express the gratitude I feel for being allowed to grow as a leader and watch young men and women grow in their careers. I truly feel the fire service has been God's call to me and my hope is that this city has not been disappointed in the service that we as a team have delivered. I look forward to this new challenge and continued service to the citizens of this community. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and God's Speed to the Citizens of Monroe and Northeast Louisiana."

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo commented, "Chief Bryant has taken our fire department to heights that have never been reached before. We are grateful for his strong leadership, which is evident by the efficiency of our Class 1 rated fire department. This is why we are fortunate to have Chief Bryant to accept the Chief Operating Officer's position. His operational management skills will be a tremendous asset toward our goal to help each city department reach a similar level of success and efficiency."

So what will Jimmie Bryant's future look like?

The duties of the Chief Operating Officer is much like that in the private sector. In order to help ensure that all city departments operate efficiently, the COO works under the direction of and reports directly to the Mayor and assists in planning, organizing, integrating, evaluating and operating the short and long-term plans, programs and services of the City of Monroe, including the City's planning and response to natural and man-made disasters and emergencies.

And what about his replacement?

The Fire Chief is a civil service position that is appointed by Mayor Jamie Mayo. Below is a summary of the protocol in place that must be followed prior to the appointment of a new Chief.

  • An Interim Fire Chief will be named.


  • Notification of the vacancy will be submitted to the local & state civil service offices.


  • Information will be obtained by the state to begin the testing process.


  • Notice of the vacancy will be publicly advertised and applications will be obtained.


  • A competitive examination will be administered.


  • Mayor Mayo will select a list of finalists to interview prior to choosing his appointee.
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