December 4, 2021

City fire chiefs sworn in

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Kimberly Friedman, left, puts a fire chief pin on her husband, Wayne, while their sons, Lucas, far left, and Gabe watch during Friday’s ceremony to swear in the fire chief and deputy fire chief at the Cortland fire station.

Former Cortland Fire Chief Charles Glover held hope for the city’s new fire chief and deputy fire chief during Friday’s swearing-in ceremony at Cortland Fire Department’s station.

“Part of my goal as fire chief was when I left, I was leaving it (the fire department) in a better place. I think you guys have prepared yourselves well and will continue to move the fire department forward,” he said.

Wayne Friedman and Duane Pierce were sworn in by Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin as fire chief and deputy fire chief, respectively, in a ceremony before about 50 people, including their families.

Friedman was appointed acting chief after Glover retired in September. He joined the department in 2003 and was named assistant chief in 2010. Friedman had also been a Cortlandville fire chief.

Pierce served as acting deputy fire chief prior to his promotion, Pierce said.

The Cortland City Council and Civil Service department conducted a nationwide search for the two positions, Friedman said. The Cortland Board of Fire Commission interviewed candidates before making recommendations to the mayor, and ratified by council.

“We’re going to start looking at what we really are here for,” Friedman said. “Obviously, the fire department is important as fire-suppression activities as we’re the only ones in town that put out fires, but that’s less and less due to a number of reasons,” including better code enforcement.

Pierce’s main concern as deputy chief is of the fire department’s well-being.

“My first goal is to take care of my people and take care of our organization,” said Pierce, who has been with the department nearly 20 years. “Obviously, we’ve got a great foundation that has been provided for us and we’re going to continue to take a look at our process and refine things and make it better for the community.”