Ken Fustin, who retired as Springfield's fire chief less than a year ago, has been hired to lead the fire department in Port Orange, Florida.
The city manager of Port Orange, a city of about 59,000 just south of Daytona Beach in eastern Florida, announced the hiring at Tuesday night's city council meeting, according to a report in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Contacted while on the road in Charlotte, North Carolina, Fustin said he has enjoyed retirement but wanted to get back into the firefighting business.
“My wife and I talked about it,” Fustin said. “We both decided that if I had any hopes of getting back into the profession, I’d probably need to do it sooner rather than later. The longer you’re away from it, the less marketable you become.”
Port Orange has five fire stations compared to Springfield’s 12, but Fustin said the population demographics are similar.
Fustin said he offered Port Orange a “long-term commitment.”
“I’m in it for the long haul. I feel I’m still young enough and still have enough to offer in this profession. I hope I can go down there, make a difference and make the department a little better than the day I walked in. That should be any fire chief’s mission and goal,” Fustin said.