Eckert to recommend new leaders for Belleville Fire Department

News-DemocratJanuary 3, 2014 

Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert in a 2013 file photo.


— Mayor Mark Eckert will recommend the City Council appoint Thomas Pour as interim chief of the Belleville Fire Department at the Monday night council meeting.

Pour, the deputy fire chief, has been with the fire department for more than 21 years and deputy chief for the past 16 months, Eckert said.

Eckert also will ask that Arthur "Bud" Jacobs Jr. be appointed as interim deputy chief. Jacobs has been with the department for more than 20 years and has been a battalion chief for the past 11 months.

Current Fire Chief Scott Lanxon will retire effective Feb. 3.

The council must approve the appointments.

Eckert said the two men's performances will determine whether they are offered the positions on a permanent basis in May when other city positions are considered.

"They'll have a chance to work with Lanxon for about four weeks before he retires, then have February through April as a trial," he said.

Eckert said he thinks both men have excellent backgrounds and have done a lot to improve the fire department.

"I think our people like to see us promote from within," he said.

Pour, 46, will be paid at the budgeted amount for Lanxon which is a little more than $90,000 per year. Jacobs, 47, will earn the budgeted amount for the assistant chief which is a little more than $84,500 per year.

Pour said he is excited about the challenge.

"Through the years I've done a lot of things trying to move the department forward," he said. "This is another way to do that."

He said as assistant chief he has worked to obtain grants for public safety training and radio upgrades and also concentrated on public relations.

Contact reporter Wally Spiers at or 618-239-2506.

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