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'We want the best person for the job': Corpus Christi fire union talk expectations for new CCFD Fire Chief

Flour Bluff residents are both for and against ESD#2 becoming a part of CCFD.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi is getting close to hiring a new fire chief -- narrowing the search to just four candidates.  

The hiring comes as the Corpus Christi Fire Department tries to find a new way to absorb Nueces County Emergency Services District two.

That's one of the many issues the new fire chief will have to address. 

The Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association spoke with 3NEWS about what their expectations are for the new fire chief when they take over. 

Flour Bluff residents are both for and against ESD#2 becoming a part of CCFD. The local citizens council supports ESD#2 remaining Independent -- saying it helps fill gaps in CCFD's coverage. 

Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association President Johnny Stobbs said Flour Bluff citizens are paying an extra tax for ESD 2--$0.03 for every $100 worth of property. He said the solution would be to make it a part of CCFD. 

"That should be Station #19 and it should have an engine, it should have a medic unit, if we need to more things around, we move things around. I think that's what is in best interest of all parties concerned," he said.

Stobbs said CCFD has some of the busiest fire crews in the country, responding to 20 or more calls a day. He said a new fire chief needs to be prepared for that and lead from the front. 

As for ESD#2, Shirley Thornton with the Flour Bluff Citizens Council supports them remaining separate. She wants to see the numbers behind it that would justify it becoming a part of CCFD.

"To see can the city provide for the same amount the services that are provided by this ESD, and I think that's what the taxpayers need to see," she said.

Thornton said she also doesn't want to see firefighters lose their jobs—since some would not be eligible to work for CCFD. She also lives in Flour Bluff near CCFD Fire Station 13. When that station is busy responding to calls, she said that leaves ESD#2 to fill in the gaps in coverage in the area. 

"When its gone, we're without an ambulance, except this one. So, this one gets called, so it is an important service and it's filling gaps. It's not a redundant service," she said.

Thornton told 3NEWS that citizen's council plans to attend a meet-and-greet for fire chief candidates Thursday night at the American Bank Center. 

She said they want to the candidates to know how Flour Bluff is effected by decisions about ESD#2. 

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