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Police and fire

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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Eric Lahey, a member of the Fort Wayne Fire Department for 18 years, has been appointed as the new fire chief.

Firefighter to follow Biggs as new chief

18-year member plans to focus on department preparedness

An 18-year member of the Fort Wayne Fire Department was named the department’s new chief Tuesday.

Eric Lahey joined the department in 1996 and was most recently a firefighter at Station 11 on Rudisill Boulevard.

His appointment comes after current Chief Amy Biggs tendered her resignation May 20 for personal reasons. Her last day in the position is Sunday.

Lahey, a Fort Wayne native and Concordia Lutheran High School graduate, said after the appointment that he wants to promote efficiency, professionalism, a strong work ethic and moral strengths for the department.

“I’m looking forward to serving and protecting our community as the chief of the Fort Wayne Fire Department,” he said in a prepared statement.

Because the fire department is one of the first places people call when they have a problem, he wants to make sure the department is prepared to handle any situation.

“If we’re going to be a catch-all, we’ll be sure to have a policy in place,” Lahey said.

A focus on training will be at the forefront of his leadership.

“Eric has the skills and experience to lead the Fort Wayne Fire Department in an efficient and effective manner,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a news release.

During Lahey’s time with the department, he has provided consulting and instruction for Niles Safety Services, a private company specializing in industrial, health care and first-responder safety training and other assistance services.

Lahey said he wants to focus on training but will look at the department’s budget to find the best ways to operate with available resources.

Jeremy Bush, president of Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Local 124, said he looks forward to working with Lahey as chief.

“He’s been involved heavily in our department,” Bush said.

Aside from his history with the department, Lahey served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1992 from active service.

He then spent six years in the Indiana National Guard, reaching the rank of staff sergeant.

Lahey will be sworn in Monday.