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Rochester's McCoy selected new Austin fire chief

AUSTIN — The Austin City Council on Monday voted of 5-1, with one abstention, to select Rochester Fire Captain Jim McCoy as Austin's new fire chief.

Council Member Steve King voted no because he thought Terry Peterson, who is now with the Austin Fire Department, should have been selected because he was so close to McCoy in the selection process. Still, he said he would "welcome the new chief with open arms."

Council Member Jeremy Carolan abstained because he's a member of the fire department.

McCoy will replace Mickey Healy who was chief for about three years until quitting earlier this year to take a job in Texas. Brian Lovik has been acting chief.

Before McCoy can take over his new job, he will still have to go through physical and psychological exams and take other steps so the earliest he can be the next chief will be around the beginning of the new year, said Trish Wiechmann, human resources director.


The salary hasn't been set, but the range is $72,735 to $86,590, she said.

McCoy was chosen by Austin's Fire Civil Service Commission based on a series of tests and experience, she said.

He had to take written tests, including how he would handle certain administrative duties, had to tell how he would handle a set of scenarios and go through oral interviews, Wiechmann said. The tests were graded by an outside firm and each had a certain weight given to them.

McCoy's experience included becoming a firefighter since 1996 and came to Rochester in 2004.

When everything was added up, McCoy came out on top and was unanimously selected by the commission and then the council, she said.

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