Twinsburg -- As he settles into his new position as the third full-time chief of the Twinsburg Fire Department, Chief Tim Morgan said his highest priority is to move the Twinsburg Fire Department forward and continue its high standard of service to the community.
Morgan, previously a fire captain, accepted a promotion Jan. 22 to be the newest chief of the 42-person, $3.6 million department. The Streetsboro resident will replace outgoing Chief Richard Racine, whose Jan. 3 retirement came after more than 39 years with the department. Twinsburg officials say a total of five candidates -- all captains -- were interviewed for the position. A swearing in date was canceled for Jan. 28 but is expected to be rescheduled soon.
"To maintain a high level of service to the community would be my purpose here, to make sure we have good fire and EMS coverage for the city and the township," Morgan said Jan. 28.
"My focus is going to be continuing the legacy of service we've provided and try to make improvements where we can."
"That incorporates personnel, equipment, facilities, technologies, all those things. Just continuously looking for ways to improve what we're already providing."
Mayor Katherine Procop, who also serves as the city's safety director and has the final say in hiring police and fire administrators, said she is happy to welcome Morgan to the chief's position, given his previous leadership experience within the department.
"It is exciting for all of us to be able to promote an outstanding captain from the very qualified candidates, within the Twinsburg Fire Department, to take the reins as chief," Procop said. "Tim Morgan has proven himself through leadership, intelligence and command experience. I am proud to bring him on board as the third full-time chief of the department."
Morgan, 46, lives in Streetsboro with his wife and three children. He first joined at the Twinsburg Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in February 1991, eventually being promoted to captain in December 2003. He will be responsible for a department of 30 full-time firefighters across two fire stations, two part-time secretaries and 10 part-time firefighters. The fire department's yearly budget for 2014 is about $3.59 million, according to finance director Karen Howse.
As chief, Morgan's starting yearly salary will be $89,900, compared to Racine's exiting salary of $92,080.
As he makes the transition from a union firefighter into a non-union administrative position, Morgan said his loyalty to the city has always come first.
"As much as I have been involved with being a union officer in the past and being under the union contract and things of that nature, it's been my stance that first and foremost, I work for the city and not for the contract," Morgan said. "It's not my intention to slide by with the minimum amount of effort. I'm going to give the best effort I can and hopefully, time will prove that sufficient to make things better."
During his career, Morgan has served the Twinsburg Fire Department as a training officer and fire investigation team coordinator, as well as shift supervisor. He has also worked with the Ravenna Township, Brimfield Township and Lakeville fire departments. As Twinsburg's Chief, Morgan said he will be responsible primarily for reporting and investigating the causes of fires in the city and Twinsburg Township, maintaining the department's readiness to respond to any emergency and utilizing the proper personnel and technology to mitigate those emergencies.
"It's still really new, so I guess at this point, I'm spending a lot of time learning what I don't know," Morgan said. "I just hope that I can pick up the pieces where Chief Racine left them and whether it's [to] rearrange them or improve them … make them work for the future. I've got a lot to learn and I just hope any mistakes I make along the way will be miniscule and on a administrative basis and not on a functional basis."