Flint emergency manager appoints new fire chief

Flint Fire Chief David Cox, Jr.

To call the Flint fire chief's job a challenge is an understatement. But on his second day, newly-appointed Chief David Cox, Jr., said he's up for it.

Emergency manager Ed Kurtz announced the hiring Wednesday.

â??We were really pleased to get someone who had that urban experience as a front-line firefighter,â?? Kurtz said.

Cox is a 23-year veteran Flint firefighter. He spent the better part of those years in the fire prevention bureau, leading arson investigations.

Cox said he'll engage the public to tackle the cityâ??s arson problem.

â??We're going to go out and talk to the people and we're going to ask them to be our eyes and our ears,â?? he said.

Cox also faces the perpetual challenge of funding the fire department.

Right now the federal SAFER grant funds nearly 40 firefighters and that grant runs out next summer.

The key, Cox said, is to earn the people's trust and deliver valuable service.

â??We have to get the community involved,â?? he said.

Cox will be paid $85,000 as the chief of the fire department. Police chief Alvern Lock was acting fire chief before Cox was appointed.