TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Randy Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to the position as Tuscaloosa's new fire chief, but Mayor Walt Maddox said that was not the deciding factor in hiring him for the job.
"We welcome you to Tuscaloosa and we welcome you as the next fire chief of the city of Tuscaloosa," Maddox told a crowd of city leaders, firefighters and the public and Fire Station #4 in Alberta.
Smith has 35 years of emergency experience; 31 of those are with Mobile's Fire Department.
But he wanted to meet with the staff of Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue and others in the community before making any changes.
"I will be learning from you. I will be listening to you. These are things I promise I will be doing. But one thing I want to say.
This is a great community, this is a great department, and I can't tell you how honored and humbled I am to be working with you," Smith explained.
Maddox cited Smith's experience dealing with hurricanes along the Gulf Coast and leading disaster response teams earthquakes in Haiti, after 9/11, and Puerto Rico.
He also said that Smith would make a difference in the lives of people.
"You're selecting someone that literally has the lives of 250 firefighters and potentially 100,000 citizens in their hands," Maddox went on to say.
Smith will attend his first department briefing Tuesday.
His first official day on the job is July 1.