DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has named Charles Simms as the city's new Interim Fire Commissioner.
Simms is a 35-year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department, having joined in 1986 at the age of 19. He takes over following the departure of Fire Commissioner Eric Jones on Friday.
Simms has risen through the ranks from Firefighter/EMT to Fire Investigator Lieutenant, Fire Investigator Captain and Chief of Arson and Fire investigations. Simms became 2nd Deputy Fire Commissioner in 2016 and has overseen the Fire Marshal, Fire investigations, Communications, Training and Community Relations divisions.
“Commissioner Simms has distinguished himself time and again throughout his career at the Detroit Fire Department and is ready to lead,” said Mayor Duggan in a news release. “He has the experience, the respect of department members and the union. I expect him to be a compelling candidate for the role of permanent Fire Commissioner.”
While Simms's appointment is on an interim basis, he says he will seek the job permanently.
“I’ve let the Mayor know that I would love to serve this department as permanent Fire Commissioner for the long term and plan to offer myself as a candidate,” Simms said in a news release. “I know I’ll be judged by what I do starting today, not what I’ve done over the past 35 years, so I plan to start making an impact right away.”