New Buffalo Fire Commissioner

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 27, 2010 at 8:53 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 27, 2010 at 8:53 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Mayor Byron Brown announced the appointment of Garnell Whitfield as the new commissioner of the Buffalo Fire Department, during a news conference at city hall Tuesday afternoon. Whitfield has been serving as the interim fire commissioner since December of 2009, after Mayor Grown relieved former Commissioner Michael Lombardo of his post, saying it had to do with high cost of overtime for firefighters.

The Mayor says there were many applicants from across the nation for the job but Whitfield, who was the deputy commissioner and a 26 year veteran of the department, is the best fit. Whitfield says he has plans for the department while in his new role. "We will continue to modify our policies and procedures to try and impact the sick time and overtime in the Buffalo Fire Department," Garnell said. "We're gonna hold people accountable, make sure that we staff appropriately, and just manage it in an appropriate manner."

The other four appointments made by the Mayor are: Vincent Gugliuzza for Buffalo Fire Deputy Commissioner, Joseph Tomizzi as Director of Fire Investigation Unit, Patrick Pascall for Police District A Chief, and Brian Patterson for Police District B Chief.

The Mayor says these four positions should go into effect by late Thursday, and he's expecting common council to approve the fire commissioner position.