MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — The lengthy wait for official leadership at Mobile Fire-Rescue has finally come to an end.
Tuesday morning, the Mobile City Council unanimously voted to confirm Mark Sealy as the new Mobile Fire Chief. The vote ends a tenure of more than three and a half years without a Chief at Mobile Fire-Rescue.
The vote was moved to the top of the meetings agenda. Council members praised the committee’s selection and offered kind comments towards Sealy and Mobile Fire-Rescue.
Sealy is a 25-year veteran of the department who has been serving as a District Chief. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science, a Paramedic License, and numerous technician-level certificates.
On Thursday night, News 5’s Chad Petri investigated the three-year absence of a Fire Chief in Mobile in a special report, “Where’s the Chief?” The following morning, Stimpson called the press conference to announce Sealy as his pick.
The tenure reached 1,288 days without a Fire Chief at Mobile Fire-Rescue, drawing ire from many in the department. News 5 learned that morale has been low of late due to under-staffing and lack of direction at the top of the department.
“Certainly morale could always use improvement,” Sealy said. “That’s going to be one our priorities. We’re going to put decision-making back in the hands of [our firefighters] to a certain extent, give them ownership to an extent. We need to empower them.”
Sealy also talked about the staffing issues brought up in News 5’s Special Report, such as many of the firetrucks riding with three firefighters instead of the recommended four.
“Certainly staffing always needs to be addressed,” Sealy said. “The amount of people we have on the trucks is certainly something we’re going to look into.”