- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - The Hammond City Council has rejected a request from Fire Chief John Thomas to eliminate the position of assistant chief.

Thomas wanted to scrap the assistant chief’s position in order to establish a chief of administration post, which the fire chief said was necessary to upgrade the department.

The council’s vote came after a lengthy public hearing Tuesday during which several firefighters asked the council to retain the position of assistant chief, although other firefighters spoke in favor of the changes Thomas sought.

The assistant chief’s position has gone unfilled for several months after the person holding the job retired.

Thomas said the department needs an administrator who can oversee the growing amount of paper work that has to be processed, along with communications and training of firefighters.

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