After the Grand Island City Council unanimously approved Cory Schmidt as the next fire chief Tuesday night, he says he wants to talk with all GIFD stations and get their thoughts on the changes that need to be made.
"I don't want to be the person that only thinks that way, I'd like to have some assurance that there are problems and we can fix them," says Schmidt.
Schmidt will get to start soon enough. He will assume the duties of fire chief on Monday, just give days after getting the job.
But fire officials say the quick transition is doable since Schmidt has been with Grand Island for 16 years.
"Promoting a local candidate is going to make it a lot easier," says Interim Fire Chief and EMS Divsion Chief Russ Blackburn. "He already knows things, we don't have to bring him up to speed on everything, so yeah, we're happy that it's a local candidate and we think it'll make the transition a lot easier."
Wednesday was Schmidt's last shift at Fire Station 2 where he's been a captain. He says moving to city hall will be a big adjustment from shift work, but he says it also means someone at Station 2 could get a promotion as well.
"Because I was a captain, someone is going to be promoted to my position, so that actually has quite a ripple effect and it's great for morale," says Schmidt.
He says the department will need to work together to face the future.
"It's going to be a challenge, the budget's pretty tight, there have been some cuts and we're going to have to go through and prioritize, see what's most important, see what has to be done and see what could possibly wait," he says.
Besides a new chief, the fire department is looking forward to getting their new ambulance toward the end of October, and hope to have their new rescue pumper in-house by May of next year.