Obama taps Atlanta chief for US fire administrator

By FireRescue1 Staff

WASHINGTON — Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been earmarked to become U.S. fire administrator.

President Barack Obama announced Monday his intent to nominate a host of individuals for key administration posts, including Chief Cochran.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano applauded the president's intent to nominate Chief Cochran.

"Kelvin will play a vital role in strengthening our fire prevention and emergency management capabilities across the country," said Secretary Napolitano.

"Working closely with our state and local partners, Kelvin will lead our nationwide efforts to prepare for and respond to fire emergencies."

Chief Cochran has 28 years of experience from firefighter to assistant chief training officer in Shreveport, La., where he eventually became chief before moving to the Atlanta Fire Department last year.

Shortly afterward, he told FireRescue1 he thought the appointment meant he would be unable to fulfill his wish of first becoming IAFC president and then taking a senior federal-level role.

"At the time, I really didn't think I would be interested in being fire chief anywhere else than Shreveport," Chief Cochran said in the interview. "But the city of Atlanta has significant opportunities and significant challenges that a fire service leader just couldn't pass up."

However, since his appointment, Chief Cochran has had to contend with a string of budget problems.

The city has shut down five firehouses in recent months, meaning longer response times in some instances, according to local union bosses.

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