Ernest Malone will succeed Brian Sanford as chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Mayor Greg Ballard and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs announced Thursday.
A 28-year IFD veteran currently serving as assistant chief of fire, Malone has held every merit rank in the department. He holds degrees in fire science, business management and management. Earlier this year he was designated a "Chief Fire Officer" through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, becoming the first Indianapolis firefighter to hold the distinction.
“The Indianapolis Fire Department is one of the most respected fire services in the nation,” Ballard said. “Chief Malone’s nearly three decades of service makes him the right man to protect the people of this great city and lead the 1,200 men and women of IFD.”
“I do not have the words to adequately express how honored I am to be named Chief of Fire for the Indianapolis Fire Department,” said Malone. “I have seen many changes and positive initiatives implemented during my 28-year career with IFD. Indeed, much has been accomplished, but there is still much to do.
"This appointment will be the greatest professional challenge of my career. But, I am supremely confident of our organization’s continued success because of the courage, commitment, professionalism and dedication of the over 1,200 men and women, both sworn and civilian, who make up this great department.”
Sanford, who is battling Lou Gherig's disease, will retire from the department on Aug. 11 and serve as chief of staff for Riggs.