Local News

Durham Selects Interim Fire Chief To Run Department Permanently

Posted June 1, 2006 4:52 a.m. EDT

— Durham officials said Thursday they had chosen their interim fire chief to lead the fire department on a permanent basis.

City Manager Patrick Baker announced that Bruce T. Pagan, Jr. would be the new chief after serving as interim fire chief since October 2005.

"We're excited to have Bruce continue on as a member of our public protection team," Baker said. "Bruce brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table with more than 25 years of service as a city employee, and since preventing loss of life and property is the main goal for our fire department, we will continue to call upon Bruce's extensive expertise to ensure we do just that."

Pagan said he is looking forward to working with a team already assembled in the department.

"Being selected as the next fire chief is a tremendous privilege and I am humbled and grateful that Patrick has given me this opportunity," Pagan said. "I look forward to leading an organization that has the finest group of professional firefighters and administrative personnel anywhere."

Pagan said one of his goals for the department is to further cultivate productive working relationships with the local, state and federal agencies as well as neighboring departments, the Durham community, elected officials, fire department employees and the other city departments.

"We have several worthy goals ahead of us and I am excited about the prospect of achieving our future objectives such as accreditation, recruitment and retention, strategic planning, career development and growth," Pagan said.

Pagan will have an annual salary of $108,000.

Pagan joined the city as a public safety officer in 1980. Since that time, Pagan has worked his way up through the fire department as a firefighter, fire driver, fire captain, battalion chief, and deputy chief before serving as the interim fire chief.

Pagan is pursuing his master's degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. He also attained certification from the Executive Fire Officer Program from the National Fire Academy in Emmistburg, Md., and his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from North Carolina Central University.

Pagan is a member of "Men of Vision," is an advisory board member of the NCCU Homeland Security Graduate Degree Program, and is a member of the Durham Technical Community College Fire Protection Technology Advisory Committee.