Fairfield hires a new fire chief

Thomas Lakamp will begin his tenure as Fairfield’s fire chief on Dec. 5.

A Cincinnati assistant fire chief will lead the Fairfield Fire Department.

Thomas Lakamp, who has served as Cincinnati’s assistant chief of its administrative services bureau since 2016, was named on Friday.

His first day with the city is scheduled to be Dec. 5. His starting salary will be $130,000 annually.

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“We are excited for the opportunity to bring Tom onto our city team,” said Fairfield City Manager Scott Timmer. “His dedication to the fire service is tremendous, and we believe he can help lead our department as it transitions to a full-time service provider.”

Lakamp will succeed retired chief Don Bennett, who retired after 52 years in the fire service, the last 38 leading the Fairfield Fire Department as chief. The city’s two deputy chiefs, Tom Wagner and Randy McCreadie, have jointly served as interim chiefs during this transition period.

Lakamp has been with the Cincinnati Fire Department since 1996, and Fairfield City Manager Scott Timmer said he “brings a tremendous amount of expertise, skill, and operational knowledge to Fairfield.”

He holds a Master of Arts in Securities Studies (Homeland Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Safety Engineering. He’s also been a featured speaker at various fire service professional organization events and earned a number of awards, including the City of Cincinnati’s Fire Chief’s Award in 2016 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2015.

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Lakamp has assisted other Greater Cincinnati fire departments through initiatives, like the design and implementation of training programs that were adopted by various departments across Hamilton County, Fairfield said.

Fairfield is in the transition of converting its fire department from a combination service to a professional service, meaning they are converting all part-time positions to full-time ones. This is being done because of the difficulty of finding firefighters to fill spots because there are too many full-time fire jobs elsewhere.

Timmer said Lakamp’s “expertise and guidance will be very beneficial” during the transition.

“Filling critical vacancies is vital to the success of any city, the opportunity to bring on a high-caliber individual who complements our current command staff will enable the department to enhance the service it provides to our community,” the city manager said, adding that he is confident Lakamp’s skillset and leadership experience “are directly in line with the needs of the department.”

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