Danny Reynolds, who has been the acting head of the Taylor Fire Department since May of 2013, has been named the City’s newest full-time fire chief, according to Mayor Rick Sollars.

In a simultaneous move, George Quiroz Jr., a fire captain who has more than 25 years experience with the department, was named deputy fire chief. The two moves take effect immediately.

“My argument all along has been that no one deserved a free pass in this situation,” Mayor Sollars said. “If Danny was the best candidate, he was going to rise through the process, which is exactly what happened. We feel like we have the two best candidates to lead the department. They have worked together in the past, and bring a ton of knowledge and experience to the table. They are going to have to work together even more closely now. When you look at our city budget, the fire department is a challenge. Beginning with these appointments, we need to move constructively into the future. We need to make good decisions based on both safety and financial concerns. I have a lot of faith in Danny and George to get the job done.”

Chief Reynolds and Deputy Chief Quiroz were two of a handful of candidates from within the department considered for the two positions. No outside candidates could be considered for the positions, due to the firefighters’ union contract. A three-person panel – Executive Director Amanda Banas, Police Chief Mary Sclabassi and Romulus Director of Public Safety John Leacher – interviewed all the candidates and eventually made their collective recommendation to Mayor Sollars. The mayor removed himself from the process to ensure fairness.

Chief Reynolds brings a wealth of experience to the position. He has been a member of the TFD since July 1995. Before becoming the interim chief of the department when former Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand dismissed former Fire Chief Robert Tompos last year, Reynolds held the post of deputy fire chief from September 2012 to May 2013. He was a captain on the force from January 2001 to September 2012 after being a lieutenant for one year, a sergeant for three years and a fire-medic from July 1996-August 1997. He was an auxiliary firefighter in 1995-96.

Before joining Taylor Fire, Reynolds worked in the Emergency Medical Services Division of the Detroit Fire Department, first as an EMT and then as a paramedic between 1993-96. He is currently an adjunct fire academy instructor at the Schoolcraft College Fire Academy in Garden City.

Among Reynolds’ personal achievements: Graduate of Eastern Michigan University School of Fire Staff and Command; Department of Homeland Security/FEMA Professional Development Series: Emergency Management; Former IAFF Safety Committee Chairman; Consolidated Dispatch Committee member of Downriver Mutual Aid; and a member of the Western Wayne Mutual Aid Group’s advisory panel to the Michigan Firefighter Training Council.

A Taylor resident, Reynolds awards include City of Taylor Award for Bravery and Professionalism in a rescue from a burning home in 2001; City of Detroit EMS unit commendation for rescue attempt of several residents in 1994; and multiple letters of appreciation from the Mayor’s Office, Fire Chief’s Office and residents for services rendered in a time of crisis.

Deputy Chief Quiroz has been a fire captain since 2011 and has also been the president of the Taylor Professional Firefighters’ Union Local 1252. Like Reynolds, he has a deep professional background, also serving as a lieutenant from 1999-2011; sergeant (1998-99); fire medic (1997-98; and auxiliary firefighter (1998-97). 

Quiroz’s educational background includes International Firefighter Association programs in labor relations and leadership; Macomb Community College Fire Academy; Superior Medical Education; Wyandotte Medical Center; and the Institute for Christian Works Bible College and Seminary.

Photo: Deputy Chief George Quiroz Jr. (left) with Mayor Rick and Fire Chief Danny Reynolds