James Blazier Named Next Wheeling Fire Chief
WHEELING — A lifelong resident of the city and a veteran member of the department was named as the next fire chief for the city of Wheeling.
Upon the forthcoming retirement of current Wheeling Fire Chief Larry Helms this summer, the new fire chief will be James Blazier, Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron announced during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“It’s my pleasure to announce that I’ve appointed Jim Blazier as the new fire chief for the city of Wheeling,” Herron said, noting that candidates were informed of the selection Tuesday morning. “Jim is currently the assistant chief in charge of training, has 35 years of experience in the department and will begin his duties on July 1 when chief Helms retires.”
Blazier was not in attendance during Tuesday’s council meeting, but nonetheless, received a round of applause from city council and the audience on hand for his appointment to the fire department’s highest post.
“I’d like to congratulate Jim on his appointment and look forward to working with him,” Herron said. “His education and professional experience is a great fit for the chief’s role. I believe he will continue the tradition of excellence in fire, rescue and EMS to which the residents of Wheeling have grown accustomed, while advancing the department.”
Blazier, a graduate of Central Catholic High School, began his career with the Wheeling Fire Department in January of 1989. He worked his way through the ranks as fire engineer, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. Most recently, he has worked in an administrative role over the past 12 years serving as a training office, EMS squad training office and supply manager for EMS and firefighting equipment.
Additionally, Blazier is a public safety instructor for Mountain State Education Services and is a registered nurse at MedExpress.
“I am both honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as chief of the Wheeling Fire Department,” Blazier said later Tuesday. “Having served under the previous three chiefs, I have large shoes to fill. Top priority will be to continue the legacy of service provided to our citizens and visitors to Wheeling.”
Blazier holds an associate degree in manufacturing and engineering from Belmont Technical College and earned an associate degree in registered nursing from West Virginia Virginia Northern Community College. He obtained a West Virginia adult education certificate, is certified both nationally and in the state of West Virginia as a paramedic and a CPR/AED first aid instructor, is a hazardous material technician level certified and received several certifications upon the completion of numerous fire training courses through WVU Fire Service Extension, West Virginia Public Service Training and the National Fire Academy.
When he is not at work, Blazier enjoys spending time with his family and doing automotive and home repair projects, working on classic cars and enjoying outdoor activities.