NEW ORLEANS -- Timothy McConnell was sworn in as the 11th superintendent of the New Orleans Fire Department on Wednesday.
He says he already has big plans for his new position.
Before making the announcement, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for a moment of silence for firefighters Tommy Ashby and Scott Blanchard as well as NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas, who lost their lives over the weekend.
Landrieu went on to say that after conducting a national search for two months, he chose Assistant Superintendent Timothy McConnell to take over the department, though he has already been in the leading spot since former Superintendent Charles Parent went on medical leave.
Parent held the position for a decade and led the department during Hurricane Katrina.
McConnell said his focus will be on prevention. He talked about a smoke detection campaign called “Install Dat,” and even says the fire department will be involved with the Mayor’s Nola for Life murder reduction program.
“My vision is to aggressively transform the New Orleans Fire Department into an innovative and proactive department by seizing every opportunity to expand public safety and community service," McConnell said.
Parent added, “Chief McConnell came to the forefront during Hurricane Katrina. He was energetic, enthusiastic, he was organized, and he organized the fire department.”
“He has been a work horse. He is a firefighter's firefighter. He helped restored 20 of the 23 engine houses that suffered Katrina flood and storm damage, 18 of them within 24 months,” Landrieu said.
McConnell has served almost 30 years with the New Orleans Fire Department. He beat out 40 other applicants for the position.