Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fire Chief Wolever to retire

Press Release:

Toledo Fire Chief Wolever to retire after 33 years of service

Assistant Chief Luis Santiago to serve as department leader

Chief Michael Wolever has announced that he will retire from the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department after 33 years of service as a firefighter and four years as chief.

Chief Wolever joined the department in August 1978. He was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1982, Captain in June 1984, Battalion Chief in October 1988 and served as Deputy Chief under Michael Bell beginning in 2002. When then-Chief Bell retired in 2007, Wolever stepped up to lead the department.

Chief Wolever additionally serves as vice-chair for the Ohio Homeland Security Advisory Committee and has served as Chairman of the State of Ohio Medical Technical Advisory Committee, co-chair of the City of Toledo Urban Area Security Initiative, and co-chair of the Metropolitan Medical Response Team.

“As Fire Chief and Mayor, I have counted on Mike Wolever to be a leader in the fire department for 20 years,” said Mayor Michael P. Bell. “I appreciate his service and his dedication to Toledo Fire and Rescue and to the residents of the city and the region. The knowledge and experience he has contributed to the department have helped to make us one of the best in the nation.”

Also during Chief Wolever’s tenure, two major policy initiatives were accomplished. The long-term federal consent decree issued in the Brown v. Winkle case was dismissed allowing the department to move forward with more modern and widely accepted recruiting practices. The department also continued a move toward regional safety cooperation by merging fire and rescue services with the Village of Ottawa Hills.

As Wolever departs, Luis Santiago will lead the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. Santiago has served as Assistant Chief since December 2007. He joined the department in 1984.

“I have every confidence in Lou’s ability to lead this department into the future,” said Mayor Bell. “He has proven himself to be a valuable leader among Toledo’s firefighters and a strategic incident response commander. I have no doubt that Toledo can continue to depend on a competent and professional fire department under his leadership.”

Wolever’s last day of service will be Friday, July 1, 2011. Santiago will serve as acting chief until a permanent appointment is made.


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