Nashville Fire Department Chief Steve Halford, whose 11-year tenure as chief is Metro’s longest for that position, will retire effective May 1.
Metro Public Works Director Billy Lynch, who has worked for Metro in numerous capacities over 43 years, served as interim fire chief before Halford former Mayor Bill Purcell appointed Halford to the position in April 2001.
A statement from Mayor Karl Dean’s office indicated his administration will focus on next year’s operating budget for the next fiscal year, and a plan to find and appoint the next fire chief will come at a later date. In the meantime, Randy Lovett, special projects director at Public Works, will serve as that department’s interim director while Lynch serves at the fire department.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Nashville’s Fire Chief,” Halford said. “I am humbled to have worked alongside such dedicated and caring emergency professionals. They are truly the best. I am also grateful to Mayors Bill Purcell and Karl Dean for the confidence and trust they placed in me by allowing me to be their fire chief. Both are great leaders and visionaries.”
A 41-year veteran of the fire service, Halford began his career as a fire fighter with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, located in a suburb of Baltimore, Md. He became Fire Chief for Anne Arundel County in 1994 and retired from there in 1999. He served as Fire Chief in Clayton, Mo., in the St. Louis area, for two years before former Mayor Bill Purcell hired him as chief in Nashville.