Glendale Fire Department swears in former buildings official as new fire marshal

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There’s a new marshal in town. Fire marshal, that is.

Stuart Tom, who for the past 16 years was the face of all things to do with building permits in Glendale, was sworn in Thursday as the city’s newest fire marshal.

At first, it may seem strange to have the city’s building official take such a high-ranking position with the Glendale Fire Department, but Tom had a burning devotion for safety in his former post.

“The Fire Department is just a great organization. It is obviously dedicated to protecting this community. As you can imagine, coming from building and safety is one half of the name,” Tom, 52, said at the swearing-in ceremony held at Fire Station 21 on Oak Street. “I’ve pretty much dedicated my career to safety and protecting the community, so the opportunity to come over to fire was natural.”

The Calabasas resident will earn between $8,907 and $12,956 a month, according to the city’s website.

“A fire marshal is responsible for oversight of the fire prevention bureau of the fire department. He’s in charge of management of fire and life-safety concerns for building construction. Also, management of all the industrial and hazardous waste issues throughout the city,” Tom said.

Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said Tom is the right man for the job.

“I’ve known Stuart for many years. I think he is an excellent selection,” Scoggins said. “I think his vision is really going to help our fire prevention bureau move forward and grow in the direction in which it needs to grow.”

Scoggins also said Tom is “not just a building official.” He also works closely with the state fire marshal and is a member of many state fire committees and advisory boards.

“It’s a strange transition if you don’t know Stuart, don’t know Stuart’s background,” Scoggins said to a crowd of about 50 at the ceremony. “Stuart has been around for a long time. As the downtown area has developed over the last five, 10, 15 years, Stuart has had a say in pretty much everything that has risen out of the ground in the city of Glendale.”

It was a day with several changes for the department, which employs about 155 sworn firefighters and has nine fire stations spread throughout the 30-square-mile city.

In addition to Tom, William Lynch was promoted from captain to battalion chief, while Greg Fish was named interim deputy fire chief.

“What a great day it is for the Glendale Fire Department and the city of Glendale,” Scoggins said.

[For the Record, Dec. 20, 2013: This story has been updated with a correct spelling of Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.]

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