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ND fire department appoints new chief

Dan Brombach | Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When Bruce Harrison learned of his recent appointment as fire chief of the Notre Dame Fire Department, he knew his career was taking a step in an exciting direction.

“I was a little bit overwhelmed and definitely appreciative,” Harrison said.  “This is a fantastic opportunity, both for myself and for my family.”

Harrison, who will take over as chief on March 1, will come to Notre Dame with 30 years of experience at the DeKalb, Ill., Fire Department under his belt. He said he is confident the guidance of his new colleagues will help him adjust smoothly to the responsibilities of his new position.

“I trust that there’s a lot of experience and dedication in the [Notre Dame] Fire Department that will greatly assist me in transitioning into situations that may be somewhat different or have some sort of variation,” Harrison said.

Harrison said his experience in DeKalb has prepared him for any challenges he might face at Notre Dame, including fire prevention, emergency response, suppression of hostile fire and public fire education.

“There’s definitely a great deal of similarity between what I’m doing in DeKalb and what I’ll be responsible for doing here at Notre Dame,” Harrison said.

Harrison began his career in the DeKalb Fire Department with a strong desire to protect the safety of his community and to rescue those in danger.

“For me, there has been no higher calling than to be of service to those in need and in crisis,” Harrison said.  “My career in the fire service has been about meeting the needs of the community through preparedness, prevention and response.”

Harrison said he is grateful for the opportunity to become a part of Notre Dame’s history.

“I appreciate the tradition and the heritage that is the University of Notre Dame, and I’m tremendously honored to be part of its storied campus,” Harrison said. “It’s an immaculate place.”

He is also happy to join an organization he considers one of the best in the world, he said, and hopes to leave his own mark on the department during his tenure.

“The opportunity to be fire chief for the Notre Dame Fire Department and serve the Notre Dame community is a great honor and has great meaning to me, both personally and professionally,” Harrison said.  “I view the NDFD to be world class, and I hope that I can add value to that mission.”