Mayor G.T. Bynum announced Monday he has picked current Chief of Emergency Medical Services Michael Baker to serve as the next chief of the Tulsa Fire Department.
Baker took over the emergency medical services division in 2009, when Bynum says things were very different.
"We were at that point even potentially in danger of losing our ability to provide EMS services through the Tulsa Fire Department. Chief Baker was entrusted with those responsibilities at that time. Today, we have one of the top-ranked EMS systems of any city in America," Bynum said.
Baker also helped develop a TFD program that refers people with specific needs to programs that can help them. Baker said the fire department will continue to help address community problems.
"In the world of health care, the life expectancy challenges that we face, working to address homelessness within the downtown and across the city, that is a partnership endeavor. And our operations are always impacted by those events, but we are working through innovative programs to tackle those issues with our community partners," Baker said.
Baker takes over as chief Tuesday from Interim Chief Scott Clark. Former Chief Ray Driskell retired April 30 after a 35-year career, eight of them as chief.