Richard George Houren 22 November 1961
New Fire Chief Appointed; Selected From 30 Applicants Appointment of a new fire chief who wijl succeed to the vacancy left by death of Chief James Lewis Lewis last July was announced today by City Manager Graham W. Watt Named as the new* head of the fire department, effective Dec. 4, is Richard G. Houren, 52, of Wildwood, Wildwood, 111. ' In announcing the appointment at%»n' today, Watt said that under under the law the sole basis of selection selection is merit and fitness, and that he had picked Houren from a field of 30 applicants foii the position. position. ' ' - r#vi ' t that he is unusually fled to^set up ajnd e ' needed in Alton) having- ti eommuqii said Watt, K," " of experience In which he feels wilUbe highly- valuable valuable "as it has the prime goal of heading off fires before they can start. Many of the applicants for the position of chief, which dairies a present salary of $7<320 a year, were extremely well-qualified Watt continued, and on the whole he was highly pleased with the quality of the men who applied. Houren presently is serving as an engineer technician in the Bureau Yards and Docks at Washington, and will leave this position *fo" accept the Alton as- signmlnt. He v^ted',Alton for a personal^ itfteryjej? while candidates candidates tor, the chief's position were being $fted.. 'Watt will formally t ''?ej aW ton position because of his : in , departments at Wirtnetka ' ' and'jcaiipago— a total of 19' years ill, city v fire department service. He also has, served in federal ci- sway * : Opened Yet Jttghway IB not open, but motorists have been driving ^ound the <'RpajJ Closed" sfgns. Ed I$bson, genera) supermen- dent lor McCann Construction Co. on the river road paving job, said today the public has been using the recently completed westbound Jane between the end of West Broadway paving and the foui- lane section west of Alton Water Co. plant. Meantime,'Hobson said, "The road is officially closed until the state reopens 'it" He said he doesn't know when this will be- but observed ,tha)r he was "sure* the road won't be completed until next spring. • "A ipt of curb and gutter work remains to be done," he said. vil service''as chief supervisory fire-fighter at Donaldson Air Base fyhich had 120 in the fire-fighting fbrqe and in a similar post at Langley Field, Va., which had a l,4dO-man department, and where aircraft rescue work was included with fire-fighting. Watt also cited that Houren has, served as a field service engineer for insurance groups interested in improving fire prevention, prevention, services. In World War n, Me served in the Navy, at- rank of lieutenant comtna,nd$r,"' and was responsible/ responsible/ for $re protection at New_ New_ j.1 ..^ ^ *-i--- a t -Following high'school, Hojuren t,*!!feh_^-?K.,i^., utse at Notre Universities, 9rk. in hy- tfire fight:' fight:' University. Purpose appoint- a state- 'ft Wfll be his effort "to further develop the Alton department in its three-fold responsibility responsibility Of fire-fighting, life- saVing? -a^d rescue, and fire prevention, ^Alsojl vvill encour- a|e alj- members to improve their kn'owledge^of fire science so they may^ppth serve the city better ^an'd''ibetter protect their lives and safety." Watt said he; had called a conference., with Acting Chief Warren, Grable and Assistant Chief Stilwell to Inform them) of the appdintmentC Under the manager form of municipal government appointment appointment of department heads is the duty of the city manager and without province of the City Council. The posts of department department heads are not under civil service.