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Emanuel appoints new Fire Department Commissioner

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After a monthlong search, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s chosen Jose Santiago to head the Chicago Fire Department

Santiago is the current deputy fire commissioner and a 33- veteran of the department. He also served briefly as executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Santiago skirted reporters’ questions about whether he was against cutting the number of firemen per truck or closing firehouses - a budget-cutting measure proposed by the mayor and opposed by his predecessor.

“There’s many many different studies on what is safe and not,” Santiago said. “That’s what we’ve been working on, taking in all that information, and we’ll make a determination based on safety.”

Santiago will replace outgoing Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff. The appointment still needs to approved by the City Council.

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