After an exhaustive two-year search process, Ann Arbor finally hired a new fire chief, Joseph Gorman, who is scheduled to start in early May.

Gorman currently works in Saudi Arabia on a contract job with the U.S. Army. Gorman has previously worked in several fire stations across the country, as a fire chief and in other high-ranking administrative positions.

City Councilman Robert Johnson (D – 1st Ward) stressed the importance of Gorman’s experience in his selection. “He’s working in Saudi Arabia, which is a pretty interesting job,” Johnson said.

The interviewing process was organized into a two-round process – the second round began after a candidate who was previously selected, Rick Tye, declined the position. Members of the fire chief search committee consisted of several city administrators and officials, including city council members.

Police Chief Daniel Oates is currently serving as the interim fire chief.

“(Gorman) interviewed for the position and was a candidate that we considered highly,” said search committee member Ron Olson, associate administrator and superintendent of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “He has vast experience working as a fire chief.”

Olson said the AAFD is in the process of making efficiency and budget changes, adding that a new fire chief will be a welcome addition to the department’s administration.

“We’re looking forward to having Mr. Gorman join the fire department,” Olson said.

Mayor John Hieftje could not be reached for comment due to the death of his infant daughter, who passed away in Chicago Sunday night.

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