Providence fire chief talks new role, expectations of department

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Providence Fire Department has been without a chief since 2015, and now that Mayor Brett Smiley has taken office, a new chief has been named, and the youngest in department’s history. 

“Exciting,” Derek Silva, the new chief said, “Little bit of anxiousness, but in a good way because there’s so many things I want to tackle.”

Trying to start the new year, and the new role, in the right direction, Silva told ABC 6 News a few priorities of his. 

“There’s some technology advancements, and some leadership training, and some real like comprehensive, organizational items that I want to tackle early on — and really set expectations and kind of a new time for the fire department and get us into the next generation,” Silva said. 

With this 21st century approach to leading the department, Silva said he is prepared to recruit and retain more firefighters, while also training those in the department for future leadership roles. 

“And actually, I have the fortunate ability to pick my own leadership team with the mayor, who serves as the public safety commissioner that we’ll be deciding who fits those roles in the next few weeks, so it’s a really exciting time for the department,” Silva said. 

Silva also wants to take another look at resources within the station to make sure the department is as efficient as possible when responding to calls. 

“And so, I know that we’ll be able to do some great things under Mayor Smiley’s leadership, and then now mine in the fire department,” he said. 

Categories: News, Rhode Island