Durham Names New Fire Chief

Feb. 25, 2013 @ 05:50 PM

Dan Curia, a 23-year veteran of the Durham Fire Department, has been named to lead the department as its new chief.

The appointment was announced Monday by City Manager Tom Bonfield.

In an interview Monday afternoon, Curia said he was honored by the promotion.

"I'm extremely happy and humbled that the city would select me, because there was obviously a great number of qualified candidates," Curia said. "For the city to put its faith in me to lead the department forward is a dream come true, really."

Curia said a top priority as fire chief will be to build more community partnerships.

"We've got to build on our successes," he said. "Operationally, we're a solid department. But if we truly want to effect a positive change in fire and medical emergencies in Durham, we've got to build more community partnerships and attack problems at a more basic level."

"So, there are two top priorities: keeping a well-trained and focused operational department and building those community relationships that will enable us to attack fire problems in the future."

Bonfield had narrowed the field of dozens of candidates to two in recent weeks - Curia and Steven G. Knight, assistant fire chief of St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Bonfield said in a release Monday that Curia "brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table with 23 years of service as a city employee, and since preventing loss of life and property is the main goal for our fire department, we will continue to call upon Dan's extensive expertise to ensure we do just that."

Curia, 43, joined the Durham Fire Department in 1990 and served as a firefighter until 1997. From then until 1999, he served as a fire technician, achieving the rank of fire captain in 1999. As a captain, he remained in the Operations Division through his 2003 promotion to battalion chief. In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of assistant chief of operations. As deputy chief, Curia has provided direct oversight for the fire administration, operations, prevention and training divisions.

Curia has an associate degree in applied science and fire protection technology, a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master of science in leadership degree with emphasis on disaster preparedness and executive fire leadership.

He has been interim chief since Bruce Pagan retired as chief last fall.