Mayor names new fire chief

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Ernest Malone will succeed Brian Sanford as chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Mayor Greg Ballard and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs announced Thursday.

Malone_fire_chief_mugErnest Malone

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.


  • Cronyism
    So is Chief Sanford retiring and then drawing his pension and then simultaneouly drawing a salary as Chief of Staff to the Public Safety Director (position previously determined was unnessary after Straubs departure). So we get this Ballard cronyism instead of Boots on ground (Cops on the street)? I will not vote for Mayor Jarhead anymore.
  • Class Act
    Ernie Malone is a class act. Excellent choice. His biggest challenge will be stepping into Chief Sanford's shoes (an outstanding professional leader)...but he also has the benefit of having had Chief Sanford as a role model. Far too often public agency look to the outside to fill key leadership roles when excellent internal candidates would be the better choice. I'm happy to see the City respecting the value of continuity with this selection.
  • Good Choice
    Congratulations to Chief Malone for reaching the top. A hearty thanks to outgoing Chief Sandford as well for a job well done.

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