White takes over as next Columbia fire chief

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COLUMBIA - He may have had his first day on the job Sunday, but city officials made his new title official Monday night. The Columbia City Council swore in new Fire Chief Randy White at the city council meeting.

White takes over for former Fire Chief Charles Witt, who officially retired Sunday.

White said one of his main points of focus as fire chief will be keeping up with growth in Columbia.

"We're seeing larger buildings, taller buildings," White said. "Although it doesn't change the way we handle things strategically, it does changed the way we do things tactically."

He said his job won't differ too much from his earlier responsibilities as deputy fire chief.

"Former Chief Witt gave me lots of guidance and instruction," White said. "[He] helped prepare me for this position. A lot of the job responsibilities I've already been doing in one form or another."

City Manager Mike Matthes tapped White as Witt's successor in December.

In a previous interview with KOMU 8, Witt said White is prepared for the job.

"I began preparing him for the opportunity to be fire chief," Witt said. "It's good fortune he's a high performer and has done well and earned the job."

White also said he wants to hire a new deputy fire chief by the end of the month to fill his old vacant spot.