Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced late last Friday that Fire Department Chief James Clack is stepping down, effective July 26. In Clack’s absence, Assistant Chief Jeffrey Segal will serve as Acting Chief until a permanent replacement is found.
In a statement released last week, Rawlings-Blake praised Clack’s commitment to safety.
“In the last three years, as the city faced significant budget challenges, we reduced fire deaths to an all-time low, improved fire response times, and increased citizens’ access to free smoke alarms,” said the mayor. “Chief Clack’s commitment to improving the overall operations of the department has prepared us for further achievement in the coming years.”
Clack said in a statement that serving in Baltimore was an honor.
“In Baltimore, I had the opportunity to lead the most professional and courageous fire department in the United States,” he said. “I want to especially thank Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her outstanding leadership and her continued commitment to improving public safety in Baltimore.”
Clack, who came to Baltimore after serving in the Minneapolis Fire Department for over 20 years, said he planned to return to Minnesota to spend time with family.
Acting Chief Segal, a Baltimore native, joined the Fire Department in 1987 as a firefighter; he advanced to become a pump operator, captain, battailion chief, battalion commander, division chief and deputy chief before becoming Assistant Chief of Operations.