NPT City: Profile of the new El Paso fire chief
From the Miami Herald, Hialeah Fire chief steps down amid contract negotiations: On the verge of contract negotiations for Hialeah firefighters, the fire chief will step down Tuesday to pursue opportunities at a growing fire department:
Hialeah Fire Chief Otto Drozd became boss at a time the department was plagued by low morale, budget woes, a revolving door of chiefs and firefighters — and still reeling from a bitter dispute over manpower between some personnel and city officials.
Drozd is now leaving his post amid similar worries and in a contract negotiation year that is sure to be a tough one because of the city’s declining tax revenues, primarily due to the drop in property values, rise in foreclosures and voter-approved tax cuts.
Drozd resigned to become chief of the much larger and growing El Paso Fire Department in Texas, which has 34 stations compared to Hialeah’s eight.
”I’ve been here 23 years and this has always been home to me. This is the city I rode my bike in as a kid. This is where I walked the sidewalks barefoot in the summer,” Drozd said. “It’s just a professional challenge and opportunity to advance in my career.”
Born in New Jersey to a Cuban mother and Costa Rican father, Drozd moved to Hialeah at the age of 2. He joined the department in 1986 at 23, five years after graduating Hialeah High School and traveling up and down the state looking for a job as a firefighter.