South Bend hires new fire chief

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—On Tuesday afternoon, the South Bend Fire Department said “goodbye” to a local legend and “hello” to a new leader.

Chief Howard Buchanon retired after 38 years on the job and passed the torch to the new Fire Chief, Steve Cox.
It’s the beginning of a new era for the South Bend Fire Department as Steve Cox was announced as South Bend’s 30th Fire Chief.
Members of the community packed into the fire department’s garage to honor the new chief and show their gratitude to retiring Chief Buchanon.
“It’s great,” said Buchanon. “It’s really great! It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m just so overwhelmed. Really!”
Buchanon was named Chief in 2007. In a formal ceremony, Buchanon passed the department flag to former Assistant Chief, Cox.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Cox. “I’m excited, I’m excited for the future of our department.”
According to Cox, the future of the department holds quite a few changes.
“We have identified many things that we probably need to look at as far as enhancing our services that we provide to the community.”
Cox said he is working closely with Mayor Pete Buttigeig to develop a plan for department improvements.
“What we’re trying to do right now is create a strategic plan and figure out the best way to handle our challenges moving forward,” said Cox.

But until the plan is set, Cox says the city of South Bend can expect, “hard work, dedication and the ability to rally the people that work with [him] to find solutions for problems as [they] move forward.”

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