Final Three to Interview for Largo Fire Chief’s Job
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
The three will visit Largo’s fire stations and attend a meet and greet Thursday. The next day, three teams are ready to interview them.
LARGO – Three of the 57 who applied to be Largo’s next fire chief are scheduled for interviews later this week.
Those three: Joseph A. Pennino III, who is running Largo Fire Rescue until a new chief is chosen; Michael G. Cassano, deputy chief of operations for Pasco County Fire Rescue; and Jason L. Dougherty, deputy chief of operations for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. [See attached resumes.] Two others made the final cut but withdrew their names from consideration.
The Largo chief’s job came open March 9 with the departure of Shelby Willis, who left to take a job in Utah.
The three finalists will spend time Thursday (June 7) touring the department’s fire stations during the day and attending a meet and greet from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Largo City Hall, 201 Highland Ave. On Friday (June 8), the city has three separate teams – an employee team, a management team and and executive team – ready for interviews. Those interviews should end about 4 p.m.
It is unclear when Largo City Manager Henry Schubert might make a decision. In a memo that was shared with applicants, city officials laid out the type of person they’re looking for:
“The fire chief reports to and is under general supervision of the city manager. The city manager will be looking for the next fire chief to continue the legacy of excellence for Largo Fire Rescue. The new chief will be innovative, creative, a good strategic thinker, someone who will have a productive working relationship with the IAFF [International Association of Firefighter] union and respectful of the department’s outstanding workforce. He/She will be comfortable collaborating with Pinellas County administration and the other chiefs in the county as the city continues to seek solutions to the increasing EMS call volume.”
Among the requirement for the job: a bachelor degree in Fire Administration or Public Administration or related degree with a master’s degree preferred; at least five years of recent experience as chief, deputy chief or division chief of a multi-station municipal, urban fire department (of similar size or larger) responsible for all EMS and fire related activities for the city; best practice leadership and management skills.
Photo shows, from left, Michael G. Cassano, Jason L. Dougherty, and Joseph L. Pennino III.
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