FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two long-time members of the Fort Wayne Fire Department have been promoted to command positions. The swearing in ceremony was held Monday at Citizens Square.
Elbert Starks was appointed to Assistant Chief of Human Relations, and Paul Veldman was named Assistant Chief of Training.
“Paul and Elbert bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the new command staff of the Fort Wayne Fire Department,” Fort Wayne Fire Chief Eric Lahey said. “They are well respected within the operations division and I look forward to seeing all of the good work that they will do in the years to come.”
Starks, a 17-year veteran of the FWFD, will be responsible for the liability aspect of the department associated with personnel records, policies and procedures, merit commission, internal investigations and contract negotiations.
Prior to his appointment, Starks served as a Captain in the FWFD’s Combat Division where he received multiple commendations. He also worked at Parkview Regional Medical Center as a Certified Respiratory Therapist. Starks is working completing is Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health
Veldman, an 18-year veteran of the FWFD, previously served as Captain in the Combat Division. He served on the Water Rescue Team for several years as well as the Special Operations Response Team, Honor Guard, and the Hazardous Materials Team.
As Assistant Chief of Training, Veldman will be responsible for the operations of the FWFD the planning and implementation of all training programs for the department relating to fire service and EMS. He will also work as the Academy staff supervisor, overseeing recruitment and the hiring of future FWFD members. He will be responsible for managing their instruction and completion of the academy curriculum.
Before joining the FWFD, Veldman served as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army 1st Ranger Battalion.