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Anthony P. Luke sworn in as Cleveland's new fire chief

Luke, a 27-year veteran of the division, officially replaces Angelo Calvillo, who retired back in May. Eric Burchak had been serving as interim chief since then.

CLEVELAND — The city of Cleveland officially has a new fire chief.

Less than six months after Angelo Calvillo's retirement, Mayor Justin M. Bibb has appointed Assistant Chief Anthony P. Luke as the Division of Fire's permanent leader, effective immediately. He assumes the duties of fellow Assistant Chief Eric Burchak, who had served as interim chief since Calvillo's departure.

"I am thrilled that Anthony Luke will continue to serve our community in this critical role," Bibb, who administered the oath of office to Luke Tuesday morning, said in a statement. "His strong leadership, experience with change management, and his commitment to the residents of Cleveland make him the best candidate for this job."

A native of Bedford, Luke has been with the Cleveland fire department since 1994, slowly rising through the ranks before eventually being named an assistant chief under Calvillo in 2017. He most recently served as executive officer under Burchak's temporary administration, handling duties such as discipline, personnel, and payroll.

"This is a great honor," Luke wrote of his hiring. "I thank Mayor Bibb for the opportunity to lead our great Division. I will work every day to ensure Cleveland Fire efficiently provides the highest level of service by fulfilling and expanding our mission."

Luke's promotion closes a somewhat controversial chapter in the Cleveland Division of Fire's history. Although Calvillo led the department as chief for seven years, rank-and-file firefighters had long called for his ouster, with the local union twice hitting him with overwhelming votes of no-confidence. Then-Mayor Frank G. Jackson refused to remove him, but Calvillo wound up announcing his own resignation this past spring, roughly three months after Bibb took office.

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"We had incredible candidates to choose from and I can confidently say that the Cleveland Division of Fire has produced some great leaders," Chief Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard said. "Chief Anthony Luke is one of those leaders, with the experience, vision, a strong sense of community, and a spirit of collaboration. I am excited to work with Chief Luke as the Division of Fire continues progressing towards excellence."

With Luke now in his position, the mayor has now selected his own fire and police chiefs. Previously, former Division of Police head Calvin D. Williams stepped down (after Bibb had said he would be fired) before being replaced on an interim basis by Wayne Drummond, who wound up being hired as full-time chief.

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