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Sheba Turk / Eyewitness News
Email: sturk@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ShebaTurk

Today there was a special ceremony at NOFD headquarters. It is a tradition in the fire department that signifies the passing of leadership to the new Superintendent Timothy McConnell.

Dozens of fire chiefs and other employees of the fire department lined up to salute retired Superintendent Charles Parent as he was driven out the fire house. McConnell has been with the department for nearly 30 years and was even serving as interim Superintendent whileParent was on medical leave.

Today Parent passed the ceremonial trumpet to McConnell.He explained that before there were airmasks chiefs used trumpets to command their crews. That's how trumpets came to signify leadership in the fire department.

Parent says McConnell stepped up as a leader during Hurrican Katrina.

'McConnnell showed what he was made of during Katrina.He not only excelled, he was promoted to deputy incident commander during Katrina.He didn't sleep, he drank alot of coffee, he was at his post the whole time. He was not only instrumental to the survival of the New Orleans Fire Department but the rebuilding of the New Orleans Fire Department,' Parent.

'I had a very wise chief.When Chief Parent gave me the opportunity to step into the number two position he said to me two things Don't ever forget about those folks on the end of the hose, and two- Remember that the people who came before you weren't dummies.Don't go rushing in trying to make too many changes,' McConnell.

Parent says that he wants his priority to be prevention and even wants to the department to be involved with the Mayor's NOLA for Life program.
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