Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that longtime Louisiana Fire Marshall Butch Browning will retire effective May 15. He has held the post longer than any predecessor, taking over in 2008 and serving through Bobby Jindal’s for two terms six years under Edwards.
“Butch has been a valued member of my cabinet, helping lead our state through some of the strongest hurricanes and severe weather on record,” Edwards said in a statement. “His expertise and knowledge were crucial to helping work with the business community as we navigated ways in which to keep communities safe during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”
The governor went on the commend Browning for his efforts educating business owners and assisting officials in other states during emergencies.
“This is a bittersweet day for me as I am so proud to look back on what this agency has become over the past 14 years, but also that I will not be as integral of a part of its bright future, though I will remain its strongest cheerleader from the sidelines,” Browning said in a statement.
Edwards also announced that Deputy State Fire Marshall Dan Wallis will take over for Browning. Wallis’ career in fire service spans nearly 30 years, starting with the Zachary Fire Department and eventually becoming its chief.
According to the governor’s office, Wallis helped lead the transition of the Louisiana Fire & Emergency Training Institute from LSU to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
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