Steve Halford to retire May 1, after 11 years as fire chief

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 6:43pm
Staff reports

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.

4 Comments on this post:

By: ladyday1 on 3/30/12 at 1:27

When brother Tommy Lynch was appointed Parks Director, the same statement was made," Metro had a plan to find and appoint a new Director!!! Under a provision by the Park Board Tommy Lynch could not apply for the full time job. They just promoted him anyway. That stinks, When Stan Fossick Board Member said," they would search nationally for a full time director and would not be surprised if they didn't have a minimum of 75 to 100 applicants. Who were those applicants? Did they have more experience? Could they have brought better ideas? We will never know because their name wasn't LYNCH.

Just like the Park Board Mayor Dean said they will focus on next years operating budget for the next fiscal year and a plan "TO FIND and APPOINT" the next Fire Chief but it will be at a later date.
If BILLY LYNCH was so great when he was INTERIM FIRE CHIEF, WHY was he not given the job of CHIEF at that time?

How can the public have any faith in our elected officials if this kind of practice is so blatant. Favoritism especially in the appointment to the most desirable potition in another department. Is there NO firemen capable of this job????

By: treehugger7 on 4/2/12 at 6:30

How many jobs has this family had?! Surely there is someone more qualified! Can someone say NEPOTISM?! Enough already!

By: WayneR on 4/2/12 at 10:08


The fact is...Mr. Billy Lynch is qualified in the sense that when then Mayor Bill Purcell fired then Fire Chief Buck Dozier it was Mr. Billy Lynch who was quickly appointed to act as Director-Chief so Mr. Lynch does have that experience. But the fact remains---Mr. Lynch has ZERO firefighting or EMT/Paramedic experience, yet he is expected to deal with the multitude of complex problems that can and do arise when dealing with the fire and particularly medical problems of taxpayers. The guy has absolutely no experience in the field, dealing with the issues that confront field personnel every day.

Is it not reasonable to ask ---why not appoint someone within the department who has years of field experience to temporarily lead the department until the politicians decide if they are going to:

(1) appoint a permanent director from within or:
(2)choose someone from out of the city.

Just sayin'


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