Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) — The City of Charleston formally welcomed the Charleston Fire Department’s new leader on Friday. Daniel Curia beat out three other candidates for the fire chief position. The city took its time filling the spot; it's been vacant for nearly a year after former chief Karen Brack resigned last April.
Curia has 28 years of experience in fire service and currently serves as fire chief for the City of Durham, North Carolina. He said he's honored to be selected for this new role.
"Every day when the people of Charleston wake up, they should feel a little safer than they were the day before," Curia said.
Choosing the right candidate wasn't easy. Mayor John Tecklenburg said he was most impressed by Curia's dedication, making him the right fit for the city.
"In addition to all his training and experience, he's been a firefighter all his life and has served as a chief now for over five years," said Tecklenburg. "He's run the gamut, he's been in every position in a fire department. He's got the experience and the heart."
Curia said he does take his role to heart and said there's a lot on his to-do list, but there's also a lot to learn.
"I want them to wake up every day and look forward to coming to work and to know the opportunity to serve the public is the highest calling," Curia said. "I do think we have to address retention issues in the fire department. I think we have to look at diversity in the fire department."
Interim chief John Tippett also interviewed for the position. His last day was supposed to be April 1, but a city spokesperson said he's now extended his departure by a week. Curia starts on July 30. Until then, the city will name another interim chief to step in.