two men standing side by side, smiling, one in a dress fire uniform (left) one in a blue suit and tie (right)
Chief James Wallace (L) to be nominated by Mayor Brandon Scott (R) to lead the Baltimore City Fire Department. Photo from Mayor Scott's office.

Mayor Brandon Scott on Wednesday announced he will nominate Chief James Wallace as the new fire chief to lead the Baltimore City Fire Department.

His nomination will be introduced at the Baltimore City Council’s Aug. 21 meeting.

Wallace has 33 years of experience with Baltimore’s fire department and its emergency response team, leading the Office of Emergency Management since March 2020. His career with the city fire department began as a paramedic, then he became a firefighter/paramedic. He was promoted to fire lieutenant, and served various levels of leadership within the department, including Battalion Chief for Special Operations Command and Deputy Chief.

“Chief Wallace has dedicated his entire career to serving Baltimore City residents, first as a firefighter and paramedic up until now, leading our Office of Emergency Management through an unprecedented public health crisis,” Scott said in a statement. “The Baltimore City Fire Department does the hard work of saving lives across our city every single day, responding promptly to emergencies of all kinds and offering critical support to other agencies during challenging situations. I know that under Chief Wallace’s unmatched leadership and experience, our Fire Department will continue to excel in its mission and further enhance its services to the community.”

Wallace expressed gratitude to Scott for entrusting him with the role, and eagerness to serve the community in this capacity.

“It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to serve as the Fire Chief for the Baltimore City Fire Department, having been with this department for more than 33 years,” Wallace said in a statement. “As our city continues to grow and evolve, I will work to uphold its esteemed reputation and excel in the department’s mission of having Pride Protecting People. I appreciate Mayor Scott for his leadership, trust, and support to provide exceptional emergency response services, fire prevention, and community education to our residents and visitors within our community.”

According to the press release announcing his nomination, Wallace has been honored for his leadership skills and notable contributions to the fire service.

“He has been recognized for rendering life saving care for rendering care for two Baltimore City Police Officers and a Department of Public Works employee. Chief Wallace holds certifications in emergency management, safety officer training and management training from institutions like the National Fire Academy (NFA) and the Emergency Management Institute,” reads the announcement.