The Hamilton Fire Department reached within its ranks to select a new chief to replace the retiring Steve Dawson, as Deputy Chief Mark Mercer was tabbed to take on the role.
The move to hire Mercer, who will be paid $116,771 annually, was confirmed Monday afternoon by Scott Scrimizzi, the city’s executive director of Public Safety.
“Chief Mercer is very bright, works well with others, and I believe will bring even more technological advances to firefighting and emergency medical services in Hamilton. He is a skilled, intelligent public servant,” said Mayor Pat Moeller.
Here are five things you should know about Hamilton’s newest fire chief.
1. He’s served in the department and graduated locally
Mercer had served as deputy chief since 2011 and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. He is also a 1985 Hamilton Badin grad.
2. Mercer was active in his former role and in the department
In his role as deputy chief, Mercer was assigned to the Training Bureau to oversee fire department training, personnel certifications, and special projects. He has been a part of the department for 29 years, receiving all of his training there.
3. Scrimizzi said Mercer is a welcome addition in the new role
“Chief Mercer is passionate about the department and the citizens they serve, he will do a great job,” he said.
4. Dawson said Mercer is a great choice to replace him
“I want to say that I feel very confident that I am leaving the department in very good hands,” he said. “Mark is well-qualified and well-prepared. As I walk out the door, I am very hopeful for the future of the Hamilton Fire Department.”
5. A swearing-in ceremony happens at the next council meeting
Mercer will have a public swearing-in ceremony on Feb. 14, which is the next scheduled City Council meeting and will be sworn in by Moeller.