UTICA - Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri has appointed a permanent fire chief from the list of three candidates announced last month.
Scott Ingersoll becomes the 14th chief of the Utica Fire Department.
"I pinch myself sometimes because I'm not quite sure how I got here but I'm glad to be here and I'm going to do the best that I can," Ingersoll said.
Ingersoll has served as provisional chief since October 2018. He says he is looking forward to bringing some stability back to the department.
"I don't want a couple of incidents to define the great and good that the men and women do everyday in the fire department," Ingersoll said. "Its more than a job, its a calling, we provide a service and we got to do our best to uphold the standards and values of the Utica Fire Department."
Ingersoll was selected following a civil service test and interview with the mayor's advisory committee. He is a Utica native and has been with UFD for 19 years. Growing up, Ingersoll was surrounded by generations of fire fighters and he says that has helped him with his years of service. He says he is looking forward to permanently leading the department.
"We take care of 65,000 residents, I take care of 124 fire fighters and I ensure that they have everything they need to do their job safely and efficiently," Ingersoll said. "That's why it's important for the chief to show up at two in the morning, three in the morning, show up to these fires, let the guys know that you're paying attention, the citizens know that you've got someone that's paying attention to whats going on."
Ingersoll replaced James Barefoot, who served as chief temporarily after longtime chief Russell Brooks was placed on a leave of absence and eventually retired.
Now that the department is under his leadership, he says he has many ideas to bring to the table.
"We're analyzing response methods and some things that are going on, we're going to look at policies, procedures, and we're going to look at personnel, what we can do to make our personnel better, how we can help train them better, how we can provide the services that we provide a little bit better," Ingersoll said.