Sunday, September 24, 2000

Mason deputy fire chief resigns




By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Less than a month after Mason Fire Chief Billy Goldfeder resigned the fire department's second-in-command has called it quits too.

        Deputy Fire Chief Steve Pegram submitted his resignation to City Manager Scot Lahrmer last week. Deputy Chief Pegram said he was leaving for a job as a training coordinator with the Loveland-Symmes Fire Depart ment.

        Deputy Chief Pegram, 29, joined the Mason Fire Department as deputy chief in 1998. Before that, he worked for six months as a member of the Mason-Deerfield Joint Fire District. The joint district was dissolved Sept. 30, 1998.

        The resignation comes on the heels of Chief Goldfeder's announcement last month that he would be leaving Mason effective Oct. 1. Combined, the two men had nearly 40 years of firefighting and management experience.

        “For the city to be losing its No. 1 and No. 2 firefighters within a month, I can see how that can be perceived as a problem,” Deputy Chief Pegram said. “But it won't be that drastic. It's not going to affect service levels or the way things operate in the fire department.”

        Deputy Chief Pegram said the move will enable him to spend more time with his family and finish earning his degree in fire administration from the University of Cincinnati. He said his position with Loveland-Symmes is less of a time commitment and pays slightly more than his $39,000 salary in Mason.

        “This may not be the best time for the city of Mason, but it was the best time for me,” he said. “And that's who I have to look out for right now, me and my family.”

        Mr. Lahrmer said Deputy Chief Pegram will stay on as acting fire chief through the end of October. In the meantime, city officials are planning to interview candidates for a position as interim fire chief.

        “We are basically looking for someone to lead the fire department during the transition period between when Steve leaves and we hire a new, full-time fire chief,” said Mr. Lahrmer.

        He added that even though Chief Goldfeder will be retained as a consultant through the end of the year, he will not be asked to assume a leadership role after Deputy Chief Pegram's departure.

        “Steve was a real asset to the city,” Mr. Lahrmer said. “He played a key role in developing our new fire department. I'll be sorry to see him leave, but he has a neat opportunity someplace else and we wish him well.”

       



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