Special to Wyandotte Warrior
As of March 15, Wyandotte Fire Captain Daniel Wright has a new title. He is now Fire Chief Wright.
According to Wright, promotions within the department are test based but a chief promotion is unique in that it combines test score and seniority along with an interview with the mayor and city manager. The city council then votes whether or not to hire the applicant.
On Feb. 25, the council unanimously carried the motion to hire Wright, who has been with the Wyandotte fire department since 1997.
“It doesn’t feel that long but apparently it has been,” Wright said. “I’ll be honest with you, I wouldn’t work anywhere else.”
Wright did not grow up with aspirations of being a firefighter, but in 1995 the love of the job found him when his father suggested he apply to Brownstown fire department. At the time, Brownstown was a paid on-call department which means firefighters were called on an as needed basis.
Wright thought it sounded interesting so he applied.
“They hired me and sent me to school. I really kind of fell in love with it and I thought ‘I think I can do this for the rest of my life,” Wright said.
Two years later he was hired as a firefighter at the Wyandotte department.
“I always liked Wyandotte,” Wright said. “I never applied anywhere else.”
Wright was promoted to sergeant in 2005, lieutenant in 2007, and captain in 2015.
Wright finds the community an appealing part of working in Wyandotte.
“It’s an easy place to work. The citizens here are by and large a good community. We get a lot of support. They’ve always supported us with their votes and with their wallets. Not every department can say that about their city,” Wright said.
One of the first things on Wright’s agenda is to spread fire safety and prevention awareness to the community using the National Fire Safety Council, Inc. (NFSC, Inc.)’s Firepup program.
In 1986, The Firepup program was created by the NFSC, Inc. in an effort to make learning about fire and burn prevention and life safety issues fun, entertaining, and non-threatening.
On April 29, city council unanimously carried the motion to reinstitute the Firepup program. According to Wright, the department has used the program previously but stopped about 10 years ago.
“Some of the guys approached me about bringing it back,” Wright said. “We’re targeting implementation for next fall.”
The donations-based program uses materials such as coloring books to help children learn fire safety.
Wright is also trying to update the technology for the fire department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
“There’s a lot of new technology for both fire and EMS. My goal is to get my hands on as much of it as possible, to provide the best service we can given financial bonds and give the city the most bang for their buck,” Wright said.
Wright said he’ll leave no stone unturned while looking for funds to update the department.
“Whether it’s from grants or private donations to working things into the budget, I’m looking to find the resources to help make the department better,” Wright said.
When Wright isn’t looking for ways to better the department he likes to hunt in the fall, ski in the winter and bike with his wife, Charity, with whom he shares three children and 25 years of marriage with this year.
Wright is replacing Chief Jeffery Carley who retired on March 14. Carley had been chief since January 2012.