Sandusky fire marshal Rudy Ruiz recently accepted a position as fire chief in Bedford Township, located in southern Michigan, just north of Toledo.
For Ruiz, who grew up in Toledo area, it’s a chance to advance his professional career.
“I’ve been working on trying to become a fire chief,” Ruiz said. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to move up and continue to grow. I have had a lot of support trying to reach this position, and there was an opportunity there for me”
Ruiz, who started working for Sandusky fire in late 1991, could begin his new post as early as next month. Before becoming fire marshal, he also served as a firefighter and a paramedic.
But the longtime fire official dismissed any notion he’s leaving because of the city’s financial fiasco.
A $1.1 million shortfall in Sandusky’s $16.3 million everyday operating budget for 2014 calls for eliminating four full-time fire positions. Full-time staffing levels should drop from 53 today to 49 in May.
Ruiz’s departure also comes about a month after Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci announced his intention to retire in October.
A fire marshal is largely responsible for inspecting high-hazard facilities, such as hospitals and schools, and to proactively reduce or eliminate possible risks causing fires in structures. The fire marshal also acts as a community liaison, informing people how they can stay safe and prevent fires from happening.