With the retirement of longtime Fire Chief Badon effective Wednesday, April 4, it is my responsibility and duty to make a provisional appointment for Fire Chief to serve until a permanent replacement is appointed. I am pleased to announce that Assistant Fire Chief Gary S Blocker Jr will serve in the capacity of provisional Fire Chief while the application and testing process for the permanent position under Civil Service guidelines and regulations moves forward. Chief Blocker will be eligible along with other qualified candidates to apply for the permanent position when it is officially posted and advertised in the weeks to come. Gary has over twenty (20) years of experience with the Covington Fire Department, serving as a volunteer, then fulltime firefighter, and rising through the ranks to Chief of Prevention. I have my utmost trust and confidence in Chief Blocker to lead the CFD during the transition period which may last up to ninety (90) days or beyond, subject to the State Office of State Examiner (OSE) timeline for establishing a Fire Chief test and setting a date to administer same. Finally, I want to commend Chief Badon for his years of dedication and service to our community. Through his leadership and mentoring of young firefighters, we have a professional Fire Department for which we can all be proud. I wish him the best as his well-deserved retirement begins. - Mayor Mike Cooper, Covington, LA Each year, the CFD answers more than 1,400 emergency calls. CFD firefighters spend many hours on outreach for fire prevention in the community. The CFD conducts fire prevention programs in local schools simulating the conditions of a fire, teaching students how to formulate and execute an emergency exit plan. Visit covla.com.