Fire chief headed to Baltimore

Minneapolis Fire Chief Jim Clack announced Tuesday that he will step down in April for a position as Baltimore’s fire chief.

Clack, a 22-year-veteran of Minneapolis Fire Department, became chief in February 2007 after serving as interim chief since April 2006.

Clack chalked up the move to the opportunity to serve as not only Baltimore chief, but also as a U.S. Fire Academy Instructor, a life-long goal, he said.

“I take great pride in Minneapolis fire department, and in the professionalism, courage and commitment to public service that each member of the department shows on the job every day," Clack said in a prepared statement. "I will always consider Minneapolis my home, but this is a tremendous professional opportunity and something that I could not pass up."

Mayor R.T. Rybak said the community was better off because of Clack’s efforts during the bridge collapse and his every day service.

"We are sad to see him go and wish him the best in his new endeavors,” Rybak said in a prepared statement.

Fire Chief Clack was the unified incident commander overseeing the rescue operations in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the I-35W bridge on Aug. 1. Clack also held positions as assistant chief of training, an emergency medical services (EMS) officer, and deputy chief of personnel.

Clack is a graduate of the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from St. Mary’s University.

Rybak will announce the process for filling the fire chief position in the coming weeks.