Charlotte announces new interim fire chief

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The city of Charlotte announced a new interim chief to lead the Charlotte Fire Department Wednesday.

According to a spokesperson with the city of Charlotte, Deputy Chief Howard "Pete" Key was selected to lead the fire department starting on September 1.

Key is expected to begin his new role after CFD Chief, Jon Hannan, retires on August 31, the spokesperson said. Hannan, who has served Charlotte for nearly four decades, is expected to work closely with Key through the end of August to "ensure a smooth transition in leadership."

Key joined the Charlotte Fire Department in 1977. He was then promoted to captain in 1984, then battalion chief in 1996 and then as deputy chief in 2004.

The city of Charlotte released this statement Wednesday:

"Deputy Chief Key was chosen as interim chief for his extensive experience as a proven leader. Deputy Chief Key currently focuses on ensuring CFD's daily operations run smoothly, as well as recruiting top talent to the department. In addition, Deputy Chief Key has been active in the community representing the fire department and the City of Charlotte with honor. He oversees CFD's Explorer Program and initiated CFD's summer internship program."

According to City Manager Marcus D. Jones, "Charlotte is fortunate to have a strong, experienced leader like Deputy Chief Key who can step into this role."

During his role as interim chief, Key is expected to focus on enhancing recruitment efforts to encourage workforce diversity, continuing efforts to create an open and inclusive dialogue among employees, residents and businesses, and maintain the world-class response and commitment of the fire department's personnel, according to the city's spokesperson.

"I am honored and humbled to be appointed as the city's interim fire chief," Key said. "I look forward to continuing my ongoing work with our CFD personnel, as well as our work with other city leaders and community members."

A search is underway for a permanent fire chief, according to the city's spokesperson.

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