New Memphis Fire Director chosen

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The new director of the Memphis Fire Department has been chosen.

Michael Putt‘s nomination must still be confirmed by the City Council next week. Now deputy director, Putt has been with the department since 1984, and was appointed to Deputy Chief of Special Operations in 2005.

Current fire director Alvin Benson, who has been with the department since 1987 and became director in 2008, is switching to the Shelby County Fire Department.

He will begin his new role December 1.

Benson said doesn’t plan on making any major changes right away when he starts his new job with the department. He said it’s important to develop relationships with his team, then he’ll go from there.

“Improve on the things that we already do well and look for opportunities to implement things that may not be implemented,” he said.

Benson takes pride in his department’s good morale and other major accomplishments, like last year’s record low fire deaths.

“Last year we had seven in the city, with having a record 40 fatalities one year back in 1988, having a number of seven was absolutely tremendous,” he said.

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