The Chattanooga City Council approved the appointment of the new Chattanooga Fire Department chief in its most recent meeting. (Photo: Staff)

A change in leadership at the Chattanooga Fire Department pulled at heartstrings during an emotional moment at the Oct. 10 City Council meeting.

About halfway into the meeting, council members voted to appoint Phillip Hyman as the new Chattanooga Fire Department chief following Chief Chris Adams’ retirement last month.

Adams had been with the Chattanooga Fire Department for 30 years.

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“I know that you probably know better than anybody the size of the boots, uniform and helmet that you’re being tasked to fill, and I truly cannot think of anybody better to step up and fill that for us here in this city,” District 3 Councilman Ken Smith said to Hyman moments before his appointment. “It is also my privilege and honor to move for your approval this evening to be our next Chattanooga Fire Department chief.”

Following this sentiment, Smith invited Adams to the podium and presented him with a fire helmet and badge for his decades of service.

“Thank you for all of your years and everything you have done for the city of Chattanooga,” Smith said.

Residential development on Hixson Pike
City Council also addressed public safety concerns regarding a new residential development planned for the 3200 block of Hixson Pike and 2923 Braly Place near the S curves on Hixson Pike.

Plans for the new development would direct more traffic onto a dangerous part of the road.

Last month, two people were taken to the hospital with injuries in a two-car head-on collision on these S curves, and a few people died in wrecks during the early 2000s.

Because of this, local residents are concerned about the possible effects of increased traffic on an-already dangerous part of Hixson Pike.

During the council meeting, one of these residents, whose daughter had also been involved in a wreck in this area, came to the podium to voice his opinion about the development.

“I believe it will significantly weaken the strong improvements that have been made to our traffic safety,” the resident said.

City Council passed the resolution for the development’s permit, but only after the developer agreed to have open communication with the residents when drawing up plans.

Among other items approved during the Oct. 10 City Council meeting are:

  • A rezoning ordinance on final reading that will allow a¬†new apartment building to be built at 341 Stringer St. This ordinance had been previously disputed, as nearby residents expressed concern over increased traffic flow.
  • An urban agricultural zoning ordinance on final reading allowing some city residents to have livestock on their properties
  • A resolution allowing the administrator for the Department of Economic and Community Development to accept funds from the Benwood and Lyndhurst foundations for the installation of two sculptures at Blue Goose Hollow

Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville.

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