Brian Alkire gets call to be next LFD chief: A Q&A
Nearly killed in 1996 house fire, Alkire’s recovery, rise leads to LFD chief. Plus, Michael Knowles invitation to Purdue roils campus. New student-faculty collective pushes Purdue on climate action
Days after an October 1996 house fire along U.S. 52, south of Lafayette, then Tippecanoe County Sheriff Dave Murtaugh told the J&C: “Brian Alkire is very lucky to be alive.”
Alkire, then a Sheffield Township volunteer, was one of two firefighters trapped by burning debris when the house collapsed, leading to years of recovery. The community rallied around Alkire, who told anyone who would listen that his firefighting career wasn’t over and that he wouldn’t be defined by that moment.
A J&C headline in November 1997 told the story: “After fire, vow kept,” tracking his return to the job, eventually leading him to a firefighting position with Lafayette in 2000, where he came through the ranks as a fire inspector and eventually assistant chief of fire prevention.
This week, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski named Alkire the next Lafayette Fire Department chief. He’ll succeed Chief Richard Doyle, who plans to retire June 21, after 39 years with LFD, including leading the department since 2012.
Question: First off, what’s the formality now? Is it assistant chief? Chief-elect? Chief in waiting?