A longtime training officer with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue has been named the assistant fire chief.

A longtime training officer with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue has been named the assistant fire chief.

Ron Smith, who has been the fire department’s training officer for 15 years, officially took over the position of assistant chief effective Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Smith will continue to serve as training officer as well, but he will now have the additional responsibilities as assistant chief.

“I’m very honored for this new title of assistant chief, and I appreciate the recognition that the chief has given me,” Smith said. “My job duties will continue as in the past with a few added on and most people will not recognize any difference in the fire department operation.”

Fire Chief Robert Williams said Smith was deserving of the title.

“With the work that Ron had been doing, I felt it warranted his job title being changed from training officer to assistant chief,” Williams said.

Williams made the decision as part of his work with city administrators in restructuring the command posts at the fire department.

As assistant chief, Smith will be second in command, now carrying badge number 302, after Chief Williams, who carries badge number 301.

The fire marshal position, which is not filled currently, will be third in command with Lynette Manley, remaining as the administrative assistant with the fire department.

Williams explained that as assistant chief, Smith will now perform or help with fire inspections and reviewing building plans for fire codes. “Ron always helps me with the budget, too,” Williams said.

The reorganization and reclassification of positions was done in part for budgetary purposes, Williams said.

Smith has been with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue for about 23 years. He started as a paid on-call employee with the department.

“I grew up under a lot of good captains and chiefs and was promoted to training officer in 1997,” Smith said.

“I really enjoy that position (training officer),” Smith said. “I enjoy working with everyone here. They’re not just my coworkers, they’re my friends. And they’re my family as well.”

Smith added that the City of Rolla has been good to his family and him.