Capt. Jim Morris has been named the new assistant chief and fire marshal for the Davenport Fire Department, effective immediately.
Interim Fire Chief Jim Bickford made the announcement Friday afternoon after Morris beat out five other internal candidates for the position.
“Jim Morris has served the Fire Department and the citizens of Davenport for more than 20 years, and during that time, he has developed a strong record of accomplishments and worked alongside a tremendous mentor in Mike Hayman for 10 years," Bickford said in a news release. "I am extremely proud of the depth of experience and knowledge of our Davenport Fire personnel and that was made abundantly clear during the search for a fire marshal. I know Jim will serve Davenport well in this important role.”
Morris, a 22-year veteran of the department, was promoted to captain in August.
Morris was late Fire Marshal Mike Hayman's right-hand man, serving as the lieutenant fire marshal from 2007-2017, and taking on the interim fire marshal position following Hayman's death.
“I have spent most of my career working toward this position and am excited for the opportunity to continue and honor the legacy that Chief Hayman left with all of us," Morris said. "He taught me a lot about compromise, diplomacy, teamwork, and prepared me well for this assignment.”
Morris holds certifications as an EMT-Paramedic and HAZMAT Technician along with Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II, and Fire Instructor I designations from the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau.
While Morris is currently pursuing an associate's degree, he would not have met the requirements for the position had the formal education requirements not been waived by the Civil Service Commission in September.
At the request of City Administrator Corri Spiegel, the education requirement was replaced with five years of experience as a fire officer. A fire officer is a person with the rank of lieutenant or higher.
The other finalists for the position were Capt. Ron Burchette, District Chief Mike Carlsten, District Chief Paul Hartman, Capt. Robb Macdougall and Lt. Nate Wilson.