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Assistant chief is settling in

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 15, 2004

SEMINOLE - Nearly two weeks after assuming his new duties as Seminole Fire Rescue's assistant fire chief, Michael Wallace is still adjusting to life in the office.

"I like to be out in the field more than I like to be behind a desk," said Wallace, a former division fire chief in charge of medical and health services in Largo. "(But) this has been a very refreshing change."

Wallace, a 22-year veteran, replaced Assistant Chief Paul Hill on Feb. 2. Hill had served in that position for more than 30 years, Wallace said.

Wallace oversees emergency response and staffing and helps the fire chief plan, budget and respond to major incidents, he said. He does not plan on implementing any sweeping reforms.

"This isn't coming in to make changes," the 48-year-old father of two said Friday. "This is coming into a machine that's already well running."

Fire Chief Dan Graves has said he will retire in the next few years. "I would aspire to that position," Wallace said, "but no one has promised me anything."

[Last modified February 15, 2004, 01:15:45]

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