Serving as the acting Jersey City fire chief since March, Mayor Steven Fulop has promoted Steven McGill to become the head of the department.
“Chief McGill has served as an invaluable provisional Chief of the Fire Department, and I’m confident he will continue his commitment to guide the nearly 600 firefighters in providing the highest level of safety and service to residents citywide,” Fulop said in a statement.
McGill stated that he was “humbled and honored” to be the new Jersey City fire chief.
“As a lifelong resident of Jersey City, I’m humbled and honored to get the position full time. I’ve always had a vested interest in the safety of my fellow citizens and the community,” McGill said.
Throughout his 30-plus year career with the JCFD, McGill has worked in every area of the city.
Before being appointed as provisional chief last March, he served as Deputy Chief for approximately a year and Battalion Chief for the six years prior.
He also held the titles of Assistant Fire Director and the Department Liaison to the Office of Emergency Management.
“Steven McGill has proven he has the experience and judgment to be Chief of one of the finest and largest fire departments in the state of New Jersey,” added Public Safety Director James Shea.
“I’m confident his leadership skills will be utilized to continue improving services to the community and to the taxpayers.”
One of his priorities as chief will be community outreach, with a focus on involving local youth with the fire department through open houses and establishing initiatives to increase awareness about opportunities within the fire department.
McGill is also starting an aggressive inspection program, which looks to continue to drive down fire incidents and injuries.
“What we’ve found is about 80 percent of fires were in structures not inspected by the local fire bureau,” exclaimed McGill.
“So we’re going to go to businesses and organizations normally inspected by the state to do a more thorough safety inspection and install free smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life. In other cities nationwide, these types of efforts have cut down the number of fires by about 50 percent.”
McGill earned a Masters Degree in Fire Protection Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University.