By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — Lt. Douglas LaFond was sworn in as Deputy Fire Chief on Tuesday.
He was promoted to increase the efficiency of the Fire Department, and with the expiration of a collective bargain agreement between the city and the International Association of Firefighters Local 1410, the position of deputy chief was returned to the ranks. The promotion takes effect immediately.
The last active deputy chief was Gary Jones, who served from 1999 to 2005. LaFond has been with the department since September 1995 and was appointed to lieutenant fire inspector in July 2008.
During that time he was named firefighter of the year for teaching fire safety classes throughout the city’s elementary schools.
“One week into his position as lieutenant fire inspector, there was an incident in which our inspections section had to step up to the plate,” Fire Chief Mark Hogrebe said. “He had to work with the Building Department to mitigate some National Fire Protection Agency Fire Safety improvements to one of our businesses.
“This was very time-consuming, and codes needed to be quickly identified. Doug stepped up to the plate and started to assist myself and the Building Department in identifying the national fire codes in question.”
At that time LaFond also took control of the city’s emergency medical services and started to work with its medical control authority to maintain medical protocols.
Every time protocols are updated, all firefighters must be informed of the changes.
“Now, I’ve fought side by side with Doug on the attack line of house fires in the past,” Hogrebe said. “I know he is one that can be depended on and one that can get the job done. The council has made a great decision.”